Lars von Trier's 'Antichrist' lands at IFC

Cannes title stars Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

CANNES -- ??IFC Films is getting into business with the Antichrist.??

Just several hours after announcing it would be distributing Ken Loach's? soccer-star comedy "Looking for Eric," the Rainbow Media company announced? it had picked up Lars von Trier's "Antichrist," a controversial? relationship-cum-torture-porn movie starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte?Gainsbourg.??

"Since it premiered at Cannes on Monday, we haven't been able to stop ?talking or thinking about 'Antichrist,' " IFC Entertainment president Jonathan? Sehring said.??

The movie has indeed been one of the most talked-about of the festival,? though not always in the best way. With a series of bracing scenes in which? a grieving couple bloodily brutalizes each other at their country cabin,? some felt von Trier had stepped over the line.??

At a press conference earlier in the week, reporters asked Von Trier to? explain his choices on artistic grounds, with von Trier coyly refusing to.?? The title had gone through a roller-coaster on the acquisitions side: Its ?stock climbed before the fest, sank when it drew a harsh media and critical? reaction, and now apparently has climbed enough for IFC to take a flyer.??

The film's marketplace potential remains to be seen.? The sheer volume of press could provide a boost to attendance, though it's? an open question whether that, along with the smallish cadre of die-hard von? Trier fans, will be enough to make it a profitable theatrical and VOD ?release.??

As it did with the Loach buy, IFC's pickup marks a collaboration with a ?familiar face -- the company previously released von Trier's "The Boss of It All" and "Manderlay."??

The pair of six-figure deals bring IFC's festival take to three, after it ?previously scooped up Romanian omnibus pic "Tales From the Golden Age."??

The other only pickups of the movies from the festival came on the fest's? first day, when Sony Pictures Classics announced it had bought "Coco Chanel? and Igor Stravinsky" and "The White Ribbon."??

Two of the more high-profile acquisition targets, Terry Gilliam's "The? Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" and Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora," remain in ?play.