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New Picture From ‘Melancholia’; Lars Von Trier Says Kirsten Dunst “Got Off Easy” During Filming

New Picture From 'Melancholia'; Lars Von Trier Says Kirsten Dunst "Got Off Easy" During Filming

As we’ve read and witnessed already, thanks to an early trailer, Lars Von Trier‘s latest film, “Melancholia,” is about two sisters who find their relationship challenged as a nearby planet threatens to collide into the Earth. So it’s a sci-fi-tinged picture, but as the trailer evinces it’s also like a wedding-based melodrama — “Margot At The Wedding As We’re All Doomed,” or something, with shades of Bergman. It looks much more like a film about psychological angst, anxiety and human ugliness (natch, it’s Von Trier) than it does an end-of-days apocalyptic picture.

Debuting later this year at the Cannes Film Festival in May, this writer isn’t so sure how he felt about that trailer, which seemed to stress the melodrama in the drama, but regardless, Empire sat down with the Danish enfant terrible to discuss the new film recently, and in doing so unveiled an eerie new picture from the movie with lead actress Kirsten Dunst in full wedding garb, lying down in a pond.

“As you can see in the trailer, Melancholia, [which is the name of] the planet, is kind of ten times bigger than the Earth, and I liked the idea of being ‘swallowed’ by Melancholia,” the director told Empire. “I thought that was quite nice. And then I read today that that’s actually one of the virtues of romanticism – willingly being purified by dying. In fact, the film contains maybe more of the original idea of romanticism. I’m just saying that a lot of films today, their interpretation of romanticism is… quite boring, I think.” Large version of the new photo and more Von Trier thoughts on the film below the jump.

Von Trier has a reputation of not only putting his female lead actresses through extreme emotional duress (see Nicole Kidman in “Dogville,” Charlotte Gainsbourg in “Antichrist” and Björk in “Dancer In The Dark” to name a few, the latter of whom even walked off set and disappeared for three days) which has strengthened criticism against the provocateur that he’s a misogynist.

Though Dunst has to endure some nude scenes apparently, the director thinks his latest lead didn’t get it so bad. “I think that Kirsten got off far too easy, far too easy,” he joked (we hope). “She was not dragged through any masturbation. She had a very smooth ride, I would say. But she did an extremely good job.”

The picture also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier. We’ll have a man down in the trenches at Cannes, so you should be reading reviews of the picture as soon as it debuts. Magnolia Pictures has already picked up the psychological disaster film in the U.S. and while there’s no release date yet, like “Antichrist” our guess is the film will land sometime in the fall and we assume it will also hit the Toronto International Film Festival as well before it goes into regular North American release.

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