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Directed by maker Lars von Trier, the cult Danish film maker, and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, the film depicts a couple grieving for the loss of their son, who falls to his death from a window while they are having sex.
"Even at '18' the BBFC recognises that the scene will be shocking and offensive to some viewers", it said.Julian Brazier the Conservative MP for Canterbury and Whitstable who has campaigned for more stringent film classification guidelines, said: "From the accounts I have heard of Antichrist, this does seem to be one more example of how the BBFC has given up on trying to regulate material which the majority of the public feel is offensive." Mr Brazier said that an "R18" certificate, where films can only be shown in specially licensed cinemas or sex shops, would be more appropriate for Antichrist.Films submitted to the BBFC for classification are usually watched by a group of "examiners" who view the material and recommend an age category, cuts or other actions.Philip Knatchbull, the chief executive of Artificial Eye, which is distributing the film, said: "There is no doubt that Antichrist is a controversial film but it's our duty as a distributor to present the works of talented directors such as Lars von Trier in their original form, exactly as the director intended."We fully support the BBFC's decision to allow people to make up their own minds about this film".John Beyer, the director of Mediawatch-UK, which campaigns for socially responsible broadcasting, condemned the BBFC's decision to give Antichrist a mainstream rating."Films of this sort, with such extreme content, should not be classified for public exhibition anywhere," he said.Nicole - now a mother of two with husband Keith Urban - says she struggled with some of the sexual aspects of the movie - and revealed some of the more extreme footage was left on the cutting room floor.Explaining how Kubrick tried to base the characters, Alice and Bill Harford, on her marriage to Cruise, she explained: 'Onscreen, the husband and wife are at odds, and Stanley wanted to use our marriage as a supposed reality. Instead I got a phone call (the next day) saying Stanley was dead.Critics called it "an abomination" and "gross-out gruesome", with one Hollywood critic describing the film as "easily one of the biggest debacles in Cannes Film Festival history and the complete meltdown of a major film artist in a way that invites comparisons to the sinking of the Titanic".Von Trier, who won the festival's prestigious Palme d'Or award in 2000 for Dancer in the Dark, was booed when he attended the post-screening press conference for his new film.