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Watch: Beautiful NSFW Trailer For Lars Von Trier's 'Melancholia'

by Oliver Lyttelton
April 8, 2011 11:44 AM
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Well, this is a pleasant surprise on a Friday morning -- the first trailer for the new Lars Von Trier movie, the end-of-the-world drama, "Melancholia." Coming off the single most controversial film of his career, "Antichrist," the beginning of this clip, which has debuted at the film's official site (via @TimeOutFilm), might take fans of the unpredictable Danish helmer by surprise -- it strikes one as a rather conventional wedding-set drama, reminiscent of "Rachel Getting Married," or even Dogme classic "Festen."

But before too long, some fairly impressive visual effects signify the arrival of a planet that's been 'hiding behind the sun,' a planet on a collision course with Earth, and things get a little more Von Trier-esque, with nudity (the trailer's definitely NSFW), wildlife going nuts, and Charlotte Gainsbourg having issues with motherhood.

As we'd heard, the basis of the story seems to follow the relationship between two sisters as the end of the world looms; one newly married (Kirsten Dunst, who seems impressive here), and the other older, with a family (Gainsbourg). The cast, who can mostly be glimpsed here, also includes Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard, John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling, Brady Corbet, Jesper Christensen and Udo Kier, while there's also some stunning digital cinematography at work by DP Manuel Alberto Claro.

It all looks pretty terrific, and seems like it could cross over more so than much of his recent work, what with the all-star cast and the apocalyptic premise -- the film's tagline seems to be "A beautiful film about the end of the world," which seems entirely appropriate. We can't wait: the film's a strong candidate for a debut at Cannes next month, before a release in Scandinavia at the end of May, and one in the U.K. on July 1st. Magnolia Pictures have the U.S. rights, but there's no word as to when they might release it.

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  • zatopek | April 10, 2011 1:23 AMReply

    Ha, I knew Lars was working another one of his famous trilogies. I bet this one is dedicated to Bergman or Dreyer.

  • Gabe Toro the second | April 9, 2011 7:07 AMReply

    Antichrist 2?

  • Mr. Arkadin | April 9, 2011 7:05 AMReply

    [b]me like this[/b]

    "The Mirror" > "Antichrist" ... "Solaris" > "Melancholia" ...

  • Alish | April 9, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    What a strangely underwhelming thing to pretend to be Gabe to say... I love it!

  • Gabe Toro | April 9, 2011 1:07 AMReply

    I did not make that comment. I don't understand why people impersonate me to say these things.

  • Cory Everett | April 8, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    Rachel Getting Married...During The Apocalypse

  • Jason | April 8, 2011 12:16 PMReply

    Looks amazing!

  • Kevin Jagernauth | April 8, 2011 12:09 PMReply

    So basically this is like a Woody Allen drama mashed up with the apocalypse and patented Von Trier melodrama? Love it.

  • Jason | April 8, 2011 7:39 AMReply

    Any chance of an Oscar for All Good Things wasn't going to happen anyways. Even if they tried their best to promote it during Oscar season. Magnolia picked up All Good Things when Jarecki was floundering for a hopeful distributor. The performances were decent, but film was very very mediocre (it fell apart in the end).

    Melancholia has the chance to be an incredible film. I believe that with Lars directing.That's the difference between this and AGT. I'm hoping that Magnolia won't do VOD, especially with all the buzz that this film has already garnered.

    I may be a wishful thinker, but Emily Watson got an Oscar nom for Breaking the Waves. And that was a tough film, and probably not easy to market either. I'm sure Kirsten has a good chance at one as well.

  • Gabe Toro | April 8, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    dear wishful thinker. Magnolia will be lucky to get this one past NY/LA.

    It'll be a VOD film and it'll play is some arthouse theaters of big cities like SF, Chicago, etc. They don't have Oscar muscle; see the oscar talk that happened for All Good Things and of course never materialized (didn't help that the film was terrible).

  • Kevin Jagernauth | April 8, 2011 7:16 AMReply

    New Line handled what is arguably Von Trier's most "popular" film, "Dancer In The Dark." Powerful performance by (at the time) one of the most celebrated singer's in the world and it had a killer soundtrack. The result? One oscar nom for music.

    This was by a division of WB.

    Cannes love? Sure. But that rarely, if ever, translates into Oscars.

  • Jason | April 8, 2011 7:12 AMReply

    You guys are forgetting that although, Lars had a few pretty mainstream actors in his films, this one seems to have a ton of really popular actors and actresses. Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgaard, etc.

    Magnolia also paid seven figures to acquire the rights to the film. The company may not be the best around, but it is sure will do a better job than IFC did with Lar's previous films.

    I wouldn't write off awards just yet.

  • CinemaNerds_blog | April 8, 2011 6:38 AMReply

    I like that Lars' films have become more "traditionally" beautiful over the years. He no longer has to rely upon devices like having no sets to generate the Brechtian alienation he desires. He can now simply achieve it by contrasting a "beautiful" image with "ugly" subject matter.

  • Liana | April 8, 2011 5:34 AMReply

    @Cory, I knew it reminded me of something. To much melodrama, don't know what to think of it.

  • Alessandro | April 8, 2011 4:34 AMReply

    Hey, guys! We're not talking about Academy Award nominations, but about the Cannes Film Festival. I remind you that at Cannes, "Breaking the Waves"won the Special Jury Prize in 1996 and "Dancer in the Dark" won the Palmares in 2000. Von Trier is not so great to win for the third time, but it is very likely that the film will redeem success and recognition. I read on this site that Kirsten Dunst looks "impressive". From the trailer it seems to me too. So: I bet on her and know in a month if I have the correct prediction

  • Kevin Jagernauth | April 8, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    Sorry, not none -- but they are not an awards season horse by any stretch. They'll take if it comes but that's about it.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | April 8, 2011 3:53 AMReply

    When was the last Magnolia Pictures movie to get an Academy Award nomination? Right, none. Sorry folks, this won't win any awards. And you can bet Von Trier is hiding all the penis skewering, vagina cutting out of the trailer or whatever.

    There is a reason a genre shingle picked this up.

  • Alessandro | April 8, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    Von Trier does not stop to surprise us. Few images are enough to understand that his film is one of the favorites to win the "palmares" at the Cannes Film Festival. Who will win the prize for best actress? Bet On Kirsten Dunst? In the trailer she shows an astonishing intensity.

  • Christopher Bell | April 8, 2011 1:32 AMReply

    likes this.

  • Marie | April 8, 2011 1:24 AMReply

    Looks pretty stunning!

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