Lars Von Trier has been rather tight-lipped about his new film Melancholia. He famously pronounced “no more happy endings!” and has slowly detailed a plot about two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg), one of whom is preparing to marry Alexander Skarsgard. The elder Stellan Skarsgard is in the cast, along with John Hurt and Kiefer Sutherland.

Now we’ve got a lot more information, including basic details about the event that will open the film: “the world being crushed.”
In the book Genius, Lars Von Trier had a few things to say about Melancholia as quoted in Politiken:

In ‘Melancholia’ I start with the end. Because what is interesting is not what happens but how it happens! So we begin by seeing the world being crushed, then we can tell the story afterwards… In this way you don’t have to sit and form theories about what will happen, but can delve down into some other levels and become interested in the pictures and the universe – that’s what I imagine.

Sounds like the movie will open with that big event and then we’ll wind back to see things leading up to it. So we’ll have a window seat as people freak out and try to deal with the planet’s impending doom.

And, as the director explains, Kirsten Dunst plays the depressive one fo the two sisters, who pushes everything away after being married. Politiken explains that after hearing her young nephew’s anxiety about the impending planetary collision, she “positions herself in between the disaster and the boy and tells him about a special cave where he can be safe.”

Some of the emotions in the film come from Lars Von Trier’s memory of childhood, when he was plagued with fears of nuclear war. This, then, is celestial collission as the 21st-century exorcism of cold war fears? I can’t wait to find out.

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