The best thing I could possibly find on the web this Friday morning is the new website for Lars Von Trier‘s upcoming film, Melancholia, complete with the first trailer for the movie. Though the story is (kind of) about the end of the world, the slightly not safe for work trailer (there is a little bit of nudity) is actually almost gentle in places.

The clip briefly charts the upcoming wedding of the younger of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, looking effectively pensive and anxious. But seemingly coinciding with the ceremony is the emergence of a planet that was previously ‘hiding behind the sun’ and is now on a collision course with Earth. What follows appears to be very much the product of Lars Von Trier, but perhaps not quite the Von Trier of Antichrist. I thought he said ‘no more happy endings’?

Most of the trailer is focused on the characters played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, with scattered views of the unusual supporting cast, which includes Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier. The cinematography, by Manuel Alberto Claro, is quiet but quite stunning. I get a vibe from the early Dogme film Festen/The Celebration (by Thomas Vinterberg) more than anything else as the family drama here overtakes everything else. But you can feel an undercurrent of severe discomfort creeping in between the edits, and I’d expect that no matter how beautiful the film appears to be, we’ve got some rough times ahead in this tale.

Magnolia has US rights to the film, and while it will almost certainly premiere next month at Cannes, we don’t know a release date for the US at this point.

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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