Late but never unwelcome I hope, the Art of the Trailer struggles back into its regular weekly schedule. And to get us back on track, I decided to go with a film that looks to be a very fantastic bit of art. From the now controversial director, Lars Von Trier, I am proud to present – Melancholia:
This film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and earned leading actress Kirsten Dunst the Best Actress Award there, and is currently about to enter a limited art house release in the USA. Controversy arouse when the Director made several pro-Nazi statements and was subsequently banned from Cannes for life. Despite the various moral issues you and I undoubtedly have with his philosophy, I can say that I am very excited to see this film because it looks to be a great work of art. So with that, let’s get into the trailer!
Kicking of the trailer we get a beautiful and tragic score which gives us a very clear picture of the story to come. I love how elegant it is and yet how innately sad it can be. Exactly what you would expect from something called “Melancholia”. The introductory shot however tells a different story….
What I love most about this trailer is that it blends together very different feels:
- Sci-fi and almost Period Drama (it feels like Pride and Prejudice meets The Day the Earth Stood Still)
- Tragedy and Beauty (A marriage juxtaposed by the end of the world)
- Realist Drama versus Magic and Wonder
Honestly I don’t know that I could say what genre this is other than to say that it seems to be more a work of Art than a narrative film. The artistic style is beautiful, mixing the dark blues and greens of the outside world (and rapidly approaching new one) with the amber yellows and browns of the Wedding scenes. It seems that Von Trier found a unique matching of genres and is allowing the artistic nature of both to excel individually while bolstering each other to newer and greater heights.
Besides the amazing cinematic style, the acting appears to be wonderful. The Star-studded cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, indie-darling Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alexander Skarsgard (soon to be of Battleship infame). As previously mentioned, this film earned Dunst the Best Actress award at Cannes and from what we see here, she truly deserved it.
Again, the trailer does a masterful job of uniting different elements together cohesively and beautifully. In case you haven’t caught it yet, my word for this trailer is “beautiful” 🙂 and I think it rightly deserves that. We see morose Sci-fi, elegant yet sad Wedding parties, family fighting against the backdrop of the end of Earth. The trailer sells this film as exactly what it is – art that is not meant as escapist entertainment, but as something designed to challenge our perceptions and deepen our understandings of Life. This is not Transformers 3 by any means and thank God for that!
Very briefly, my only issue with the film as a whole is that it seems that the planet approaching Earth is called “Melancholia”. While I am not crazy about the title showing up in such a prominent way in the film, it isn’t as bad a nominalism as “Unobtainiam” from Avatar.
Ultimately this is a beautifully orchestrated combination of genres, styles, messages, and morals that I personally am going to be striving to see as soon as I can. Haunting yet elegant, Melancholia is now at the top of my list to be seen in theaters.
Overall Rating: 5//5
Welp! Thanks for sticking around! Please let me know what you think of the Trailer, the movie, the Nazi-ness of the director, etc in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Next week I think I am going to tackle a trailer that just came out today. It is an adaptation of a Shakespearian work that I have never heard of, and it appears to be modernized. Plus it stars and was directed by Voldemort…..so that should be fun 🙂 Join me next week for Coriolanus. Thanks and below are some clickouts for more info on Melancholia. Enjoy!
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