Film of cosmic chaos, end of Earth wows Cannes

Wed May 18, 2011 6:55am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - A cosmic collision brings the end to all life in "Melancholia," a grand cinematic vision from Danish maverick director Lars Von Trier that had the Cannes film festival buzzing with excitement on Wednesday.

The movie, starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as troubled sisters facing imminent death, brings stunning images on Earth and beyond and sets the tragedy to the swirling music of Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde."

Von Trier stunned Cannes two years ago with his sexually explicit and brutally violent "Antichrist," and the shock tactics returned on Wednesday when he told a press conference that he sympathized "a little bit" with Adolf Hitler.

Melancholia is one of 20 films in the main competition at the world's biggest cinema showcase, and judging by loud applause and the lively chatter of critics and journalists after a press screening, he is in the running for the top prize.

Asked whether Melancholia had a chance of scooping the coveted Palme d'Or for best picture, which Von Trier won in 2000 with "Dancer In the Dark," Von Trier said: "Oh yes I do, oh yes I do ... oh yes, oh yes."

In a press conference where some of the director's comments had reporters scratching their heads in bewilderment, he was also asked whether he liked his film.

"I saw it in bits and saw the stills from it, I kind of rejected it a little bit so I'm not really sure. Maybe it's crap. Of course I hope not, but there is quite a big possibility that this might be really not worth seeing."

Dunst plays Justine, a bride who cannot shake off crippling depression even at her own wedding -- a theme partly inspired by Von Trier's own battle with the condition.   Continued...

<p>Director Lars Von Trier (C) poses with cast members Charlotte Gainsbourg (L) and Kirsten Dunst during a photocall for the film "Melancholia", in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>