Mail film critic slates film he hasn’t seen

The Daily Mail’s Christopher Hart writes a scathing review of Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist. Not only does he admit to never having seen the film, but he thinks nobody else should be allowed to see it.

Without a trace of irony or self-awareness, Hart says:

Now the anonymous moral guardians of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), in their infinite wisdom, have passed this foul film for general consumption

What exactly is Hart promoting if not his own moral-guardianship? The BBFC have decided that only adults may see this film, but Hart apparently thinks that the average adult in the UK needs to be protected by his moral superiors. He would do well to heed the words of John Beyer, the soon-to-retire anti-smut warrior of Mediawatch-UK:

The BBFC no longer ‘cuts bits out of films’ but provides information about films so that members of the public can make up their own minds about what films they want to see or avoid.

Well said, Mr Beyer.

Here is what Hart says about the film he’s never seen:

A film which plumbs new depths of sexual explicitness, excruciating violence and degradation
[...]
Antichrist is presumably intended to shock. In fact, it doesn’t shock, it merely nauseates. 
[...]
sick, pretentious trash, fully confirming our jihadist enemies’ view of us as a society in the last stages of corruption and decay.
[...]
The world of Antichrist, by contrast, is blatantly amoral, without any sense of justice or retribution whatever.
[...]
In artistic terms, it is the equivalent of food poisoning

Where does he get this almost supernatural ability to discern an unseen film’s quality? Maybe God talks to him. He did write a breathless review of The Genesis Enigma – a preposterous book which claims the Book of Genesis fortold the theory of evolution 3,000 years before Darwin. So he is obviously a cretin.

(Tip: Nobody’s Business)

UPDATE (16:40) Michael Nimmo in the comments points out that the top six comments on Hart’s review are highly critical – another example a growing phenomenon, when the Mail’s internet readers show themselves to be considerably saner than its contributors:

How could anyone possibly judge a film that they had not seen?!
This is beyond ridiculous!
People can make thier own choice as to weather they want to watch it or not.
- Rebecca, Surrey, UK, 20/7/2009 11:30
Rating 789

You pride yourself on being broad-minded? I think perhaps you need to be slightly less proud of yourself today. That was a classic piece of closed minded criticism, of a film you haven’t seen, giving it a context you don’t fully understand, and claiming a lack of morality which you couldn’t possibly know – because you haven’t watched the film!

It was a hysterical read – and I mean that in the least complimentary way possible.
- Duncan, Edinburgh, Scotland, 20/7/2009 11:30
Rating 733

With free sensational advertising like this article, the film will be a guaranteed success …
- B. Colley, Betws-y-Coed, 20/7/2009 11:34
Rating 675

“I haven’t seen it myself…” I stopped reading there.
- Laura, London, 20/7/2009 10:58
Rating 476

How can any person speaking in a public forum, especially a film critic possibly make judgement over any film that they have not seen. Your job is to give us the detail rather than spew your moralistic, religious based ideals. Religious ideals that have no more right to a truth save for the fact we are told it as truth, than the plot of this movie.

Do your job and be professional and don’t bore us with your own personal afflictions.
- John Potter, Newbury, England, 20/7/2009 10:58
Rating 426

If you haven’t seen the film What gives you the right to comment on it??? You’re as bad as those hypocrits that banned The Life of Brian all those years ago!

I’d have been prepared for your side of the story if you’d watched it but as you haven’t I’ll watch it myself and make up my own mind!!
- Trevor, Perth, 19/7/2009 21:51
Rating 398


6 Responses to “Mail film critic slates film he hasn’t seen”

  1. The top six comments also state the following:

    How could anyone possibly judge a film that they had not seen?!
    This is beyond ridiculous!
    People can make thier own choice as to weather they want to watch it or not.
    - Rebecca, Surrey, UK, 20/7/2009 11:30
    Rating 789

    You pride yourself on being broad-minded? I think perhaps you need to be slightly less proud of yourself today. That was a classic piece of closed minded criticism, of a film you haven’t seen, giving it a context you don’t fully understand, and claiming a lack of morality which you couldn’t possibly know – because you haven’t watched the film!

    It was a hysterical read – and I mean that in the least complimentary way possible.
    - Duncan, Edinburgh, Scotland, 20/7/2009 11:30
    Rating 733

    With free sensational advertising like this article, the film will be a guaranteed success …
    - B. Colley, Betws-y-Coed, 20/7/2009 11:34
    Rating 675

    “I haven’t seen it myself…” I stopped reading there.
    - Laura, London, 20/7/2009 10:58
    Rating 476

    How can any person speaking in a public forum, especially a film critic possibly make judgement over any film that they have not seen. Your job is to give us the detail rather than spew your moralistic, religious based ideals. Religious ideals that have no more right to a truth save for the fact we are told it as truth, than the plot of this movie.

    Do your job and be professional and don’t bore us with your own personal afflictions.
    - John Potter, Newbury, England, 20/7/2009 10:58
    Rating 426

    If you haven’t seen the film What gives you the right to comment on it??? You’re as bad as those hypocrits that banned The Life of Brian all those years ago!

    I’d have been prepared for your side of the story if you’d watched it but as you haven’t I’ll watch it myself and make up my own mind!!
    - Trevor, Perth, 19/7/2009 21:51
    Rating 398

  2. barriejohn says:

    I knew I`d come across him before! I did read that review of The Genesis Enigma: Why The Bible Is Scientifically Accurate the other day and nearly pissed myself laughing. The Bible is so “scientifically accurate” that it states that grass was created along with all other green vegetation. “Now factually speaking,” the idiot agrees,”grass didn`t evolve until much later.” (Doh!!) “But wait a minute, says Parker, if you take `grass, herb and tree` to mean photosynthesising life in general, then this is, once again, SPOT ON.” Similarly with the creation of Mr Sun and Mrs Moon on the Fourth Day, AFTER the creation of Day and Night. Parker has a “stunningly ingenious answer” to this problem (well, he`d need to, wouldn`t he?): the writer is clearly referring to the evolution of sight here! (Why didn`t we all realize that before then?) Before they could actually be seen “the sun and moon didn`t exist”!! The enigma to me is that erstwhile intelligent people are going to march into bookshops and hand over £18 of their hard-earned cash for tripe like this!!!

  3. Dan Factor says:

    If you read the article carefully you will see it’s more to do with Chrisopher Hart’s loathing of “lefty liberals” and the EU rather than his disgust for this film.

    Surely his credentials as a film critic have been torn to piecies for condeming a film he hasen’t seen.

    Even Christopher “The BBFC should be strung up for allowing this sick filth” Tookey had the decency to go and see so called “morally corrupting” films before he condemed them as the spawn of the devil.

    I don’t know what is more anoying Tookey being paid to watch films and then demanding the rest of us be stopped from seeing them or Hart not even seeing films and demanding we be stopped from seeing them.

    • barriejohn says:

      There’s something seriously wrong with the standard of British journalism today.

  4. Stuart W says:

    For those interested, there is an interesting (highly negative) review here by a former colleague of mine; a respected film critic/ historian who actually has seen it.

    http://www.frightfest.co.uk/antichrist.html

    This story reminds me of the time years ago that Littlejohn devoted his column to raging about ‘the kind of sicko’ who would want to watch the yet-unreleased Dogville, just because it contained a rape scene that lead actress Nicole Kidman reportedly could not bring herself to watch back.