Melancholia opens in Russia

MELANCHOLIA. Expectations are high as "Melancholia" is about to release in Russia. Russian audiences have traditionally been very fond of von Trier's films.

The Moscow International Film Festival draws to a close, and very fittingly Lars von Trier's apocalyptic fantasy is on show at the end of the festival, premiering on 1 July in the grand October Cinema. "Melancholia" is part of the prestigious "8 ½" programme which traditionally presents the most exciting titles of the season.

"Irrational love"

This is the first time that "Melancholia" is showing at a festival since Lars von Trier's controversial press conference in Cannes. Apparently the incident has not put a damper on expectations, and several Russian media have named "Melancholia" one of the festival's main attractions.

"The Russian journalists jokingly comment that the scandal has made it possible for the Moscow festival to finally be able to get first in line for a film by the great Dane," the Danish Embassy in Moscow reports.

One Russian TV and radio host, Anton Dolin, compares von Trier's love for Andrei Tarkovsky, who is reportedly the Danish director's favorite film director, with the Russian audience's "irrational love" for von Trier.

Tickets sold within an hour

"'Melancholia' will gather crowds of fans. Tickets to the premiere at the gigantic October theatre were sold out within an hour," Dolin informs his audience. "Even those who don't really like von Trier will also try to get tickets to make sure not to miss an opportunity to see his 'paintings'."

In the past decade or so, Russians have shown rising interest in Danish films. Attention has centered on von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg and Nicolas Winding Refn.

The Russian distributor Central Partnership will be launching "Melancholia" for wide distribution in Russia on 7 July.

Moscow International Film Festival 23 June – 2 July 2011