Saturday, 17 November 2012

Chaos Reigns

Recently, on the way home from visiting a friend in Leith, I had a Lars von Trier-moment. Cycling up Lochend Road, where at night the cars and vans are packed all along the pavement, I saw a fox in the distance, trotting casually down the middle of the road. Sensible fox, I thought: walk where you can see and be seen. Then I glanced to my left and, behind a parked van, a reindeer was puking in a doorway.

Sensible reindeer, I thought: don’t draw attention to yourself.  As I slowed down on my wobbly bike (for I was not altogether sober) I realised something.  This was not a real reindeer: rather, the drunken residue of the extended Hallowe’en celebrations, whose costume choice had confused Saints with Santas.  The fox, however, remained convincingly vulpine, yet looked at me as if to say: Either he’s pissed, or I’m on drugs.

In case you don’t get the Lars von Trier-reference, the point at which a fox utters the words ‘Chaos reigns,’ in Antichrist, the film’s mood turns from pathos to farce.  Even so, it’s not a film I’d advise watching with your parents; it was uncomfortable enough at Edinburgh’s wonderful Filmhouse where on a Friday afternoon the dominant sound-effect is of Werther’s Originals being un-crinkled.

And yet I hesitate... to mention the Werther-effect regarding Michael Haneke’s new film, Amour. Not the most celebratory depictions of ‘amour’ in the pictures at the moment; I’d advise a stiff drink or two in the bar afterwards:  But don’t go as far as this chap, whose carving is on the bottom floor of the National Museum of Scotland: my 22nd sestude of the year (of 26: nearly there!)

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