Lars Von Trier created no small amount of controversy with his last film, Antichrist, which chronicled the breakdown of a relationship in explicit, mind-bending fashion. So he raised eyebrows when he pronounced ‘no more happy endings!’ for his next picture, Melancholia, which also expands his canvas from the destruction of a couple’s relations to the utter destruction of the Earth.

Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier, and explores the responses of two different women (played by Dunst and Gainsbourg) to the impending end of the world. And now the film, which is still being finished, will be distributed in the US by Magnolia.

IndieWire announces the deal, saying that the film will be completed this spring. So can we expect to see the film at Cannes, where Antichrist so polarized audiences? Very likely so. But this one might not have such a dramatic effect, because it sounds as if it isn’t quite as explicitly designed to push buttons.

A promo for Melancholia was shown this weekend in Berlin, and Todd from Twitch was in attendance. He says,

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.

One word: SOLD.

And if you missed his comments last year, the director has already revealed that some of the most explosive moments in the film — the physical ones, at least — come right at the beginning.  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.

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