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Dystopian Outlook Continues…with Lars von Trier’s ‘Planet Melancholia’

Lars von Trier is taking on the disaster film genre on a micro-budgeted English-language project which will include a (no surprises here) a pessimistic ending. Planet Melancholia is due to shoot in Germany and Sweden next summer.

Unless he has a mental breakdown, in 2011 (more precisely, Cannes) we should be receiving the art-house answer to Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield. Lars von Trier is taking on the disaster film genre on a micro-budgeted English-language project which will include (no surprises here) a pessimistic ending. Planet Melancholia is due to shoot in Germany and Sweden next summer.

TrustNordisk will begin pre-sales at the Berlin Festival in February – this will easily be a sought after title especially after the overall impact that Antichrist will have had. Zentropa’s Peter Aalbæk Jensen mentioned to the press that we should expect a handheld aesthetic and some elements of romance. Meta Foldager (Antichrist) and Louise Vesth (line producer on Manderlay) are producing. This means that the wait for the closing film in the trilogy, Wasington is put on the backburner, especially if von Trier starts tackling genres films like Tarantino. 

I’m expecting von Trier to cast someone we would have never considered for such a film – perhaps taking on an apocalypse via the POV of a woman who isn’t trying to save her children but salvage a last minute love life. Until more details roll in, we can enjoy dystopian visions of the future via The Road or Larrieu bros.’ The Last Days of the World.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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