Lars von Trier in Cannes selection for the eleventh time

CANNES 2018. Lars von Trier's 'The House That Jack Built,' following a serial killer over a period of 12 years, is part of the Cannes Festival's Out of Competition line-up. The Danish director's new film features Matt Dillon in the title role, Bruno Ganz as the mysterious figure Verge, and Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl and Riley Keough as some of the unfortunate women to encounter Jack on his way.

Zentropa and Lars von Trier's 'The House That Jack Built' is invited to the Cannes Festival as part of the Out of Competition line-up. The selection marks the eleventh time in the Official Selection for Trier, who was last in Cannes in 2011 with 'Melancholia.' In 2000 he won the Palme d'Or for his musical 'Dancer in the Dark' with Björk in the lead. The Icelandic singer received the festival's Best Actress Award.

Trier has also won awards in Cannes for several of his other films, including his debut feature 'The Element of Crime' (1984), 'Europa' (1991), 'Breaking the Waves' (1996), 'Antichrist' (2009) and 'Melancholia' (2011), the latter two resulting in Best Actress Awards to Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, respectively.

Volume 1 of 'Nymphomaniac' (long version), Trier's most recent film, was selected for the Berlin Film Festival in 2014, while Vol. 2 screened in Venice.

Dillon, Ganz and strong female cast

'The House That Jack Built' takes place in the US in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack through five incidents and are introduced to the murders that define his development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view and how he views each murder as an artwork, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world. Along the way we experience Jack’s descriptions of his personal condition through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge – a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and in-depth explanations of, for Jack, dangerous and difficult manoeuvres.

Matt Dillon features as Jack, while Verge is played by Bruno Ganz. A strong female cast includes Uma Thurman, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough and Siobhan Fallon Hogan.

Uma Thurman, Sofie Gråbøl and Siobhan Fallon Hogan have previously worked with Trier, while this marks Riley Keough’s first collaboration with the director. Thurman featured as the prominent Ms. H in 'Nymphomaniac' (2013), Gråbøl in 'The Boss of It All' (2006), and Fallon Hogan in Trier's Palme d'Or winner 'Dancer in the Dark' (2000) and 'Dogville' (2003).

Trier wrote the script based on his and Jenle Hallund's idea. Zentropa is producing, and a large part of the team is known from the director's previous film, including producer Louise Vesth, cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro, editor Molly Malene Stensgaard and co-editor Jacob Schulsinger, assistant director Anders Refn, production designer Simone Grau Roney, VFX supervisor Peter Hjorth, costume designer Manon Rasmussen and sound designer Kristian Eidnes Andersen.

Still fra 'Den skyldige'. Foto Nikolaj Møller
Uma Thurman plays Lady 1 in 'The House That Jack Built.' Photo: Christian Geisnæs

'The House That Jack Built' is made in co-production with Film i Väst, Copenhagen Film Fund, Slot Machine, with support from the Danish Film Institute, Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the Swedish Film Institute, CNC, the Media Programme of the European Union and in cooperation with DR, ZDF/Arte and SVT.

For many years now I’ve only made films about good women, and so now I wanted to make a film about an
evil man.

- Director Lars von Trier about 'The House That Jack Built'

International sales agent TrustNordisk reports of the film having been sold for distribution in the US, UK, Germany, France, Latin America, China, Russia and several more territories.

'The House that Jack Built' will be having its domestic release in fall 2018. The Cannes Festival runs 8-19 May. See more at festival-cannes.com. See overview of Danish films at the Cannes Festival over the years.

Watch teaser

First published 19 April, edited 7 May 2018.