If you’ve ever seen a Lars von Trier movie — be it Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, or 2009’s particularly controversial Antichrist — you know that the Danish director always does things, well, a little differently. So should anyone be surprised at what happens when von Trier tackles the end of the world? In the trailer for his latest, Melancholia — billed as a “beautiful movie about the end of the world” — starring Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt and father and son Skarsgårds, Stellan and Alexander, we get a glimpse of what’s to come … and, um, wow does it look wonderfully weird.
We see Kirsten Dunst as a pretty bride to Skarsgård the Younger on a lavish estate, dealing with regular ol’ family dysfunction. But, uh-oh! Turns out there’s a planet that’s heading for the earth — one that’s been apparently “hiding behind the sun” — and the film seems to be interested in exploring how different people cope with the imminent demise of poor Earth (which, judging from the mildly NSFW trailer, will include gigantic hail and Dunst’s character lying naked on some rocks and having lightning shooting out of her fingers a la Powder).
It’s not a spoiler to say this one isn’t going to end well. In an interview with a Danish paper, von Trier revealed that the film begins with the end of the planet. “We begin by seeing the world being crushed, then we can tell the story afterwards,” he says. “It could be beautiful if Melancholia could become this big submission. That is why it’s so awesome that the planet devours the earth. It’s like no more lying on the hilltop and looking at the larks,” he says, adding, “I think the larks will go too.”