This account of a guy having some kind of seizure during a recent New York Film Festival screening of Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist is another in a long line of of overly susceptible “weak sister” reactions to disturbing films. Among adults, I mean. We’re all impacted big-time by heavy films in early youth, but then you get older and begin to figure how things work and how to take films in stride.
There were similar reactions to screenings of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho in 1960 and to William Friedkin‘s The Exorcist in ’72. I remember sitting close to a revolting girlyman during a repertory screening of Roman Polanski ‘s Macbeth back in the ’80s, and how he couldn’t stop flinching, twitching and groaning during the violent scenes. A woman threw up at a screening of the second Bourne film (the one Paul Greengrass directed) that I attended. It happens.
The only thing wrong with this analogy is that Antichrist doesn’t come close to being in the same pulverizing realm as Psycho, The Exorcist and the last act of Macbeth.
Have any serious film hounds ever had physically convulsive reactions to any films? I never have but maybe it’s more common than I realize. I’m asking.