Late last week, the trailer for Lars Von Trier's latest film Melancholia was released.
Looking at the outset like a regular old "rich folks trapped on a lavish estate with their caviar and their problems" movie, we quickly discover that it's an end of the world movie too. With dreamy images of a planet headed towards earth and Kirsten Dunst's weepy declaration that "life is only on earth, and not for long," it reminded me of the trailer for Terrence Malick's highly anticipated The Tree of Life.
Even though in the Tree of Life trailer the connection to the images of space aren't rooted in any immediate, physical explanation (like, a planet is coming to destroy us), the scenes of the working class suburban childhood manage to convey that same sense of captivity that we get with the sprawling and isolated Melancholia manor. The scope of both look incredible, pitting the smallness of the family and the home against the vastness of the universe, thus allowing the films to pose big questions about existence, love, and mortality.