Winter Sparks film programme kicks off
7 January 2013
Melancholia sees an unknown planet heading towards Earth on a collision course but this isn't a billion dollar Hollywood blockbuster. The film concentrates on the relationship between two sisters, their struggles with depression and the human psyche during a disaster rather than attempting to document the destruction of the planet. The idea for the film came from a therapy session where von Trier learnt that people suffering from depression tended to act more calmly in stressful situations as they always expect bad things to happen.
Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg star as the sisters, Justine and Claire, with Dunst winning the Best Actress award at Cannes where the film premiered to almost universal acclaim. The reviews from Cannes highlighted Kirsten Dunst's performance with The Telegraph saying 'Dunst is exceptional, so utterly convincing in the lead role - trouble, serene, a fierce savant - that it feels like a career breakthrough.'
Before the film's release, Lars von Trier released a statement saying that he regretted making such a polished film and that he hoped 'it would contain some flaws which would make it interesting'. He is quoted as saying that he wanted to make it obvious that the world will end in the film so audiences aren't sidetracked wondering what will happen.
Dr Andy Newsam, Professor of Astronomy Education and Engagement at the Astrophysics Research Institute of Liverpool John Moores University will introduce the film and discuss the themes and questions raised in the film.