Lars Von Trier Begins Filming 'Melancholia,' Reveals Vague Plot Details

We've known very little about Melancholia, the next film from Lars Von Trier and the follow-up to his festival firebrand Antichrist. He's promised "no more happy endings" and the film has been called a "psychological disaster movie," but beyond that we've had almost nothing to go on.

Melancholia recently began production, and Trier held a press conference to mark the occasion. While he stopped short of handing out copies of the script to the audience, the director did give out a few details.

"There is a wedding and melancholia, but I don't want to say any more than that," Von Trier told the press, as transcribed by Dear Cinema. He explained that the characters played by Alexander Skarsgård and Kirsten Dunst will marry, then experience a 'dramatic' end to their union. Other character details include the fact that Charlotte Gainsbourg plays Dunst's sister and John Hurt plays their father. Stellan Skarsgård plays either the father or best man for his son's character.

Kiefer Sutherland, who seems to be the male lead, said "my character represents what is right, while Kirsten Dunst represents what is left. There is an important balance in the film." Sutherland also commented upon Von Trier's style, saying that he loves "

filming 'live', without any rehearsals."

Dunst also commented on Trier's filming methods, saying that "Lars instructs without [rehearsal] and it gives real things life. This is a continuing challenge for myself and with the material. [There's] poetry in the way he tortures women." (That line comes from a translated Danish report, via The Playlist, so while that line about torturing women is provocative, it may not be 100% accurate.)

Also from the translation is Trier's joking comment that the film "looks like shit." He added, "No, I hope not. But it is certainly a little uglier than the previous one." Cinmatographer Manuel Alberto Claro said, " He finds an energy in the scenes before and make up with photographic aesthetics. It suits me fine." He continuted, "all are on to improvise and take it from the hip. Each day we begin without instruction, and are then given instructions along the route. The actors are completely wild and very sweet and well prepared."