Antichrist days ('Antichrist' (2009) dir. Lars von Trier)

On the day I watched Antichrist, a number of things happened, or were meant to happen. I always aim to fill the days up, but never succeed in doing most of the things I plan on doing. On this day, I planned to return a stupid pair of jeans I had bought that didnt fit. So here I am, at the train station ready to go, jeans in bag, when Im hit (as I am recurringly these days) with the wave of nausea that sends me scuttling home. Whether the nausea is brought on by fear of being found guilty of fare-evasion on the train, or something else, I havent a clue.

I go home and watch Antichrist instead.

During the movie, I routinely pause it to check my phone, get up and see why the washing machine is making a noise like its about to take off, or just to get up for the sake of it. All in all, it took me five hours to finish the film. Pretty much a full day if you take into account my absolute refusal to wake up before midday. On the one hand, I love a good movie (understatement) so of course its not necessarily a waste of time, but it is a wasted day.A day indoors, a day fully dedicated to one thing: watching one film (entailing sitting still and not thinking about anything but what you are shown). A full day of Antichrist. Nothing but Antichrist. You have to watch the sun set behind a window because you cant move from the sofa until youve finished fucking Antichrist. And why that specifically?

It occurred to me during the film that I havent really progressed past my old gore blog days (weve all had them). Teenage me was ill, theres no denying. I had this awful way of curating organ and dissection pictures on a (now banned) Tumblr account of all things. Edgy is the only word for it. My evenings were fully-booked with just absolute scummy shit in an attempt to be somewhat counter-cultural and disturbing. Its the teenage way of knowing youre mentally ill and doing everything you can to exacerbate it and make it your definition because youre afraid thats what it will become eventually anyway, and without your help.

Now I can say Im more morally competent and that I cringe at past phases or whatever, but whats up with all these quote unquote disturbing movies if still not a crack at the counter-cultural. Im defining myself as a horror-movie-freak and for what? Anyway, this was just a passing thought that Im not reading too much into, because its very horror movies are making your kids gay and depressed. I like this current phase even if Im an edgy try-hard, though I guess future me will cringe too.

But the idea of not progressing, of being frozen in time, has felt very full and present today. The characters in Antichrist make very little positive progress (they seem to be Olympic-ally competing to try and make themselves worse). Ive made no progress in my day-to-day errands by sitting for five hours and watching them do so. Im coining the phrase antichrist day to define a day where you resort to a same old same old pastime to avoid the real world, but make yourself guilty in the process and, for a brief and shining split-second, suddenly hate that pastime.

In all my antichrist days, Im aware that time is egg-yolk dripping away. I know that its one more day of my life gone until who knows when, but I just cant bring myself to move forward. I have a calendar. I need to flip the page. Bang, its the middle of the month and youre still on last months page. In my antichrist days, theres no future, and the present is the past.

The sun was starting to set, and I really didnt want this to be an antichrist day. Among one of the things I planned to do was feed the birds, because I had half a loaf of stale, mouldy bread. In the last ten minutes of the film, I launched up, paused it, got dressed and left the flat with the bread, pretty much in one fluid-movement, and without thought. I was out of there.

You know those memes- when you walk out of the cinema having just absorbed the personality of the coolest character, or walking out of the cinema a changed person (and then theres that video of Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City (I think) walking down the street like she knows shes in a bitch montage, looking directly at the camera, power walking but in slow-motion)? Im a very big believer that theres a kernel of scientific truth to them and that youre absorbing energy every time you consume media, and it shapes the world around you.

When I was staggering down the street, sky darkening, with half my loaf crunched in my fist, babe I was still in Antichrist. Its like just being out in public looking at cars and the pavement or whatever and all you can see is Willem Dafoes penis fucking squirting blood. It didnt help that it was dusk at that point and Antichrist has that gloomy faux-arty look about it.

I ended up running into an old friend on my way to the prime bird-feeding spot- a metal bridge overlooking a park. Im no bird expert, but I was once walking there and saw an old woman laying absolute seed on the bridge railings and those bastard pigeons were loving it, so thats where I assumed I would have a good show.

I convinced this old friend to double back with me and help break up the bread into bird-sized chunks. We laid out the whole half-loaf, but alas, no birds. Jut when you want to see a pigeon, theres no cunting pigeons around. So, Im sensing a, call me crazy, pattern with today. A friend from the past, no actual advancement toward a goal- Im not crazy, am I? Like, that genuinely is a theme recurrent for today?

So, Ive finished Antichrist (alright movie), and Im seeing a lot of people have reviewed it as pointless, and without meaning. Im struggling to actually find a cosmic reason where I would need to have antichrist days beyond my mum telling me that its ok to relax every once in a while. A day where you have no schoolwork, no work-work, aim to be productive, and instead bicker at a spouse, take a smug above-emotions stance and transform an intimate relationship into a clinical one so that sex feels ominous and weird. See dark omens in nature and feel your sanity slip away. Become literally held back by a concrete circle screwed in place to your leg. Go outside and have the world become black and white like something terrible is about to, or has already, happened.

Of course, its nice to have a routine so that you dont have freeform improv days where you can do anything but choose not to (I genuinely think my coinage is accurate, I mean, these are the work of the devil). Maybe Ill relish going back to work tomorrow just so the option of doing nothing is snatched away from me. Desperate for something to learn from this. Ok, whats the moral of the story?

Here goes, a happy ending to Antichrist. Both characters (Him and Her) should have had their free time absolutely stripped. Pick up a nine-to-five and theres less time for therapeutic cabin retreats that end in female genital mutilation. I know this is vaguely beat-cop who wont stop working his own wifes murder case even though he needs compassionate leave desperately, but in that stereotype, the beat-cop is always hard on the graft. Him and Her are vaguely middle-to-upper class and reek of self-help books and too-much-time-on-their-hands. Basically, they needed to head to Indeed dot com.

Do I need to pick up a second job? Genuinely and hatefully, no. What I need is Greg Davies as Taskmaster awarding points to me when I get errands done. I need some system of pushing myself to do something, anything. I am going to start another film shortly after uploading this.