Lars Von Trier’s previous effort, Antichrist, was arguably one of the year’s most contentious films accused of unnecessary, gratuitous misogynistic violence. Antichrist found itself the recipient of accolades and disdain in equal measure; some heralding his work as that of a genesis, others disregarding it as inane pretention.
Regardless of its reception, or rather directly because of these very visceral reactions, Antichrist received a great deal of press coverage, ensuring its existence was made known to many more than Von Trier’s usual rather selective audience.
As such his latest film, Melancholia, featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg (hugely impressive in Antichrist) and Kirsten Dunst is already generating attention outside of the world of film (for evidence of this, see its coverage in tabloid newspapers).
Not much is known of the film’s narrative, the little information that has been revealed detail that the film features the discovery of a new planet that threatens the existence of earth. Dunst and Gainsbourg play two sisters who, during their impending fear of a planet colliding with earth, grow increasingly distant from one another.
Von Trier has stated that he believes all his previous films end happily, and that Melancholia will be his first to feature an unhappy ending. Viewers of Von Trier’s previous work will surely question the supposedly happy endings Von Trier refers to in his catalogue of work, and will perhaps approach the unhappy ending of his latest film with wary trepidation.
With a wonderful cast – John Hurt and Charlotte Rampling also feature – Melancholia is certainly promising, and I for one am excited at its prospect.