It’s always a relief when news hits about interesting filmmakers catching a break. Last week it was the happy chance of PTA hooking up with a billionairess with taste, and today it’s news that Magnolia has dropped big cash (seven figures!) for the North American rights to Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Following up Antichrist –the most notorious film of his very notorious career–, Melancholia is a story which Von Trier has long promised will do away with “happy endings,” and centers around the destruction of earth itself. The film stars Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt, papa Skarsgard and his son Alexander, and Udo Kier. It also stars Charlotte Gainsbourgh who returns to the front of Von Trier’s lens despite the extremely… demanding role she played in Antichrist.

The good gentleman Mr. Todd Brown (of no relation) at Twitch was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the film last week, and posted a brief description of the film. His description was on my queue of stories to run by itself, so I’m glad we now have great news to pair with it! Without going into huge specifics, the story involves a family dealing with the news that a heretofore hidden planet will soon collide with and destroy Earth. Two sisters, the one played by Dunst being the focus, have very different reactions to their inevitable fates, with one suffering from the melancholia to which the title refers. Todd’s description included the following promising details-

“In short, it is gorgeous – instantly recognizable as Von Trier’s work and very likely the most commercial iteration of his talent that we have seen yet. This in no way implies that he has dumbed things down, just that the wild transgressions of Antichrist are not present here – where they would be entirely inappropriate – and that the imagery is so beautiful that this is a film that you could clearly cut one hell of a trailer for… though firmly grounded in reality there are a lot of special effects in this and they are integrated seamlessly, shots of static electricity arcing off skin and dead birds falling from the sky in super slow motion being particularly effective.”

I don’t know about you, but that kind of imagery and tone handled by Von Trier sounds both deeply frightening, and completely unmissable. The film is set to be completed soon, and hopefully a release date is not far from being announced. Who won’t need a nice taste of intensely emotional musings about the psychological implications of apocalypse just in time for 2012 and its inevitable wave of irrational Y2Kian bullshit?

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Source | Indiewire