Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland face the end of the world in ‘Melancholia’ trailer

Earlier today, I was part of an e-mail chain about a possible get-together on Saturday night, and as is the case with many e-mail chains I’m part of, things devolved into pure silliness very quickly, leading one person to simply reply to everyone, “CHAOS REIGNS!”

It is amazing to me just what an impact the last film by Lars Von Trier made on people, and I’m curious to see if that will carry over into an audience for his next film, “Melancholia,” which stars both Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland.  The first trailer for the film has just appeared online, and I’m hoping the movie will play at Cannes in May.  I’m also hoping to be at Cannes in May, and if so, you can bet this will be one of the titles I make sure to see while I’m there.

I like how the trailer, posted by Von Trier’s company on Vimeo, is simply described as “A beautiful movie about the end of the world.”  At first, it looks like a domestic drama about a wedding and the effect of it on a wealthy family, but then Von Trier introduces the idea of a long-hidden planet from behind the sun that may bring about the end of the world, and suddenly you’ve got a film that looks like a perfect fit for his filmography.

Watching rich people complain about their problems is one of those annoyances that is almost a cliche in films, but when you add in an impending apocalypse, I wonder if Von Trier is setting you up to root for the world to end.  Hats off to Kirsten Dunst, who seems determined to have a career that is about more than just being Spider-Man’s girlfriend.  I love seeing Charlotte Gainsbourg working with Von Trier again, and Kiefer Sutherland in the mix is sort of an unexpected pleasure.  There was a time early in his career where I thought he was going to be a major name, and it never really happened.  Sure, “24” was good for him financially, but this sort of film seems like a push outside of his comfort zone, and I’m curious to see what he brings to the table.

Best of all, even after watching this, I’m still not really sure what to expect from the movie, and I can’t think of a higher compliment for a trailer these days.  This is a tease, a taste of what we’ll see, but it isn’t the entire film summed up in two minutes.  That’s a lost art these days, and I dig the trailer for how it sells the movie as much as for the movie it seems to be selling.

Melancholia from Zentropa on Vimeo.

We’ll have more on “Melancholia” for you in the future, especially if we’re at Cannes when it premieres.