It’s a good week for lush, exquisite cinematography and vividly stylized worlds; maybe not so good a week for compelling narratives. In IMMORTALS, director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar uses Greek mythology as the raw material upon which to invest his skill with staging beautiful, beautiful actors in elaborate tableaux, all in the service of the tale of a lowly peasant (Henry Cavil) who, with the blessings of the gods (including former Apollo Luke Evans), rallies the bedraggled forces of Greece against a sadistic warlord (Mickey Rourke, and are you surprised?). Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they admire the scenery and debate whether anything exists past the pretty facade.
Then, Larry and Dan briefly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Lars von Trier’s elegant science fiction drama, MELANCHOLIA, in which a despondent Kirsten Dunst must cope with her own sense of inertia and the threat of a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth. Plus: What’s coming in theaters.
There’s official confirmation that Lars von Trier’s (ANTICHRIST) disaster film MELANCHOLIA does indeed have a sci-fi angle — if there was any lingering doubt. The Hollywood Reporter’s news from Cannes mentions that John Hurt (ALIEN) has joined a cast that includes 24’s Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst (SPIDERMAN), Charlotte Rampling (ZARDOZ), gennre regular Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgard (EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING), his son Alexander Skarsgard (TRUE BLOOD) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (ANTICHRIST).
Executive Producer Peter A. Jensen revealed that the end of the world film does feature a “large object from outer space approaching Earth”.
If this is an asteroid or other natural body (such as the previously reported rogue planet) that imperiles the world, it’s been done many times before, from WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951) to ARMAGEDDON (1998), and any number of TV movies.
However, I suspect Lars von Trier can probably be counted on to provide his own unique spin on an old tale. Photo: Stock