“The Kingdom” lives.
Twenty-eight years ago, Lars von Trier created the darkly comic miniseries known in Denmark as “Riget,” which follows the lives of the staff and patients at a hospital experiencing weird phenomena — corpse mutilation, a Greek chorus of dishwashers, ghosts in the halls, a doctor rapidly giving birth to a full-sized Udo Kier at the end of Series One.
Nothing unusual to see here in Lars von Trier world. The series, defined by its sepia color scheme and idiosyncratic “Twin Peaks”-like humor, ran for two seasons on Danish TV and on DVD in the U.S. But now, von Trier is back with “The Kingdom Exodus,” the third season hitting major festivals this fall including Venice and TIFF, before the five-part season premieres on Mubi. Watch the opening sequence, a cozy, nostalgic ode to the original but with some cast and obvious technological updates, below.
This is the first new footage we’ve seen from Lars von Trier in over four years, when “The House That Jack Built” appalled and delighted the Cannes Film Festival out of competition (where von Trier was finally allowed to return after being labeled persona non grata for his remarks about “understanding Hitler” at the 2011 “Melancholia” press conference).
This is also the first footage we’ve seen from von Trier since he announced his Parkinson’s diagnosis earlier this year.
“Lars is in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms — and given treatment so he can complete ‘Riget Exodus,’” a statement from the Palme d’Or winner’s reps said at the time. “The illness means that Lars will only take part in interviews to a limited extent until the premiere later in the year.”
Mubi’s synopsis for “The Kingdom Exodus” reads, “Heavily influenced by the ghostly series ‘The Kingdom,’ the sleepwalker Karen seeks answers to the unresolved questions of the series in order to save the hospital from doom. Sound asleep one night, Karen wanders into the darkness and inexplicably ends up in front of the hospital. The gate to the Kingdom is opening once more…”
The cast includes Mikael Persbrandt, Lars Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Tuva Novotny, David Dencik, Udo Kier, with Alexander Skarsgård and David Dencik guest starring.