There are few films being released this year for which I would hop into a theater quicker than Melancholia, even though I would be lying to say I’m excited for it. I’m afraid of it- I don’t know what Von Trier is going to do to me. This trailer (which I noticed thanks to Matthew Turner’s twitter stream) doesn’t seem particularly insane or even really hint at the kind of next level darkness that makes something like Antichrist or Dogville such a crushing experience to watch, but while it must have been easy to cut a stark horror trailer for Antichrist, I have a feeling Melancholia will be harder to sum up. Clearly Kirsten Dunst has pushed herself to new places under Von Triers guidance, but beyond the light science fiction touches and a tonal similarity to The Celebration (the first Dogme 95 film), it’s hard to take much from this trailer. It’s definitely beautiful, but mostly low key- even the cosmic shots.
Note: This is not an MPAA rated trailer, so there are the briefest hints of nudity.
In other circumstances a trailer like this would pretty much tell us what we need to know, but Von Trier hangs strongly over the film like a cloud. He’s one of those director’s whose presence vibrates through each of his films, creating a sense of dread. In fact, if Melancholia doesn’t descend to some unknown dark place, I wonder if it will take a second expectation-adjusted viewing to fully appreciate it. Word should come out of Cannes soon, once the first large audiences take the dive.
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