Dan Mecca‘s “The 25 Most Memorable Opening Scenes In Film” article on thefilmstage.com (which I found via Awards Daily) slightly angered me on two counts:

(1) The opening of Antichrist is not especially good. (Mecca ranks it as #23 among 25 he singled out.) The tragedy of Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s young son falling out of a bedroom window to his death as they madly copulate in a nearby bathroom is simply not absorbing or believable. The child’s fall doesn’t seem accidental — it seems cinematically fake and laboriously pre-ordained. The snowfall and slow-motion only worsens the effect. It was this opening that told me I’d soon be feeling extremely irritated by Antichrist, and damned if I wasn’t.

(2) The title at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey — “The Dawn Of Man” — also foretells, in Mecca’s view, “the dawn of violence.” No, it’s not about the dawn of violence. The struggle for survival among species within a given environment and finite resources has always been fraught with conflict. The fittest will survive and the less fit will not, etc. In 2001 the violence that results when the lesser apes (i.e., the ones who were initially muscled away from the small pond of water by the meaner snarlier apes) are awakened by the monolith and soon after discover the aggressive use of animal bones is not presented as a moral lament. It is presented as a triumph, the igniting of their fate — they are now on the path to becoming homo sapiens, the dominant race. It infuriates me that anyone would interpret this section of 2001 as any kind of comment on (choke) something as mundane as mere violence.