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PostSubject: Melancholia   Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:23 am


Melancholia Trailer



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PostSubject: Re: Melancholia   Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:15 pm

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Chatting with Kiefer Sutherland of 'Melancholia'
Pam Grady, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, November 13, 2011

A wedding scene dominates the first part of Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier's apocalyptic drama "Melancholia." A stellar collection of actors takes part in it: Kirsten Dunst as the stunning but troubled bride; Alexander Skarsgard as the dashing groom; Stellan Skarsgard as the bride's ad man boss; Udo Kier as the increasingly put-upon wedding planner; Charlotte Rampling as the flamboyantly embittered mother of the bride; John Hurt as the bride's sot of a father; Charlotte Gainsbourg as her settled, married sister; and Kiefer Sutherland as her filthy-rich brother-in-law and the man paying for the lavish reception.

"For the actor, it was the ultimate nightmare experience, because it was one of the first things we shot and everybody just wanted to be Lars' favorite," laughs Sutherland, enjoying a visit to his hometown, Toronto, where "Melancholia" screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

"He just kept calling, 'Action.' It was like, 'What the f- are we doing? What page are we on?' But they were really great days. People were really loose. That was the one sequence where I watched about eight unbelievable actors all feel like extras that didn't know what the f- they were doing, and Lars liked that a lot."

An intense presence on the screen and on television, where he fought terrorists for eight seasons as federal agent Jack Bauer on "24," in person Sutherland is a warm, affable presence. Those are the qualities he brings to his character in "Melancholia." The man may be a master of the universe who boorishly goes on about how much he spent on his sister-in-law Justine's wedding and can be awful to the servants, but he is also a good husband and father to his young son. And as the world teeters on the brink, he responds with optimistic certainty that the worst will never happen, in contrast to Justine, who is just as sure the end is here.
Arrogance of the man

"I think this film is about Lars," says Sutherland. "He believes that my character represents 98 percent of the population - and this is the arrogance of man - that thinks we can control our destiny and look at a planet that is coming straight at us and go, 'It's not going to hit us, because how could it do that to me?' And Kirsten's character represents the 2 percent part of the population that is still kind of harmoniously in touch with earth and is sensitive enough and struggles with the feeling of this impending doom. And that would be Lars.

"The two of us realized we were the perfect match for this, because I was very happy to represent the 98 percent of the people that had hope and Lars was very happy to be the 2 percent of like, 'The f- sky is falling!' " he adds, chuckling.

Sutherland was in the last season of "24" when he got a crash course on the collected works of Lars von Trier. The television show at that point left him feeling as if he were in a vacuum, and he was searching for something new. A friend of his, a huge von Trier fan, heard about "Melancholia" and thought he would be perfect for it, but first she had to immerse her pal in von Trier's universe.

"As an actor, I probably wasn't as familiar with Lars' work as I probably should have been," he admits. "She educated me very quickly."

The actor was struck by von Trier's visual style and a collection of films he found heartbreaking and moving. But what intrigued him most was the way the director used his various casts, as over and over actors whose work he knew well surprised him with their performances in von Trier's universe.

"That made me go, 'Why? I wonder what he does to them to make them approach this role in a very different way.' I was very curious about that," he says.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/10/PKKQ1LQ62U.DTL#ixzz1dkRO8c2B


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