Months of guessing game came to an end as the Cannes Festival finally announced their Official Selection earlier today. In the lineup for the Palme d'Or award are two international heavyweights from Denmark: Lars von Trier with "Melancholia", and Nicolas Winding Refn with his US-production "Drive". Also part of the Official Selection 2011 is Danish director Frederikke Aspöck, a graduate of NYU, and her first feature "Out of Bounds", showing as a Special Screening.
Billed as "a beautiful movie about the end of the world", von Trier's "Melancholia" takes us to Justine and Michael's marriage celebrations at a sumptuous party in the home of Justine's sister and brother-in-law. Little do they know that the planet Melancholia is heading towards Earth …
Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play the two sisters, flanked by Alexander Skarsgård and Kiefer Sutherland. The international cast includes Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier and Jesper Christensen.
"Melancholia" is written and directed by Lars von Trier, and Director of Photography (DP) is Manuel Alberto Claro ("Everything Will Be Fine", "Dark Horse"). Meta Louise Foldager and Louise Vesth have produced for Zentropa with support from the Danish Film Institute. The film has been sold to distributors worldwide and will be released domestically late May.
Out of Bounds
Frederikke Aspöck's debut feature "Out of Bounds" will be showing as a Special Screening. This makes for Aspöck's second appearance in a Cannes lineup. First time was in 2004 in the Cinéfondation Selection where the Danish director won the Best Student Film Award for "Happy Now".
"Out of Bounds" is a drama set in the harsh nature of a Swedish island. A young couple, Stella and Oskar, are visiting her father, Nathan, an artist living in solitary with his dog. When Stella reveals she’s pregnant, the news drives a wedge between the three characters, making their relationships even shakier than before.
"Out of Bounds" is directed by Frederikke Aspöck, who trained as a director at NYU's Tisch School of Arts, and is scripted by Daniel Dencik. Magnus Nordenhof Jønck is behind the camera. The film features Stephanie León, Carsten Bjørnlund and Jakob Eklund and is produced by Thomas Heinesen for Nordisk Film Production with support from the talent fund New Danish Screen. International sales are handled by TrustNordisk.
Nicolas Winding Refn enters the Palme d'Or lineup with his Hollywood production "Drive", a film which echoes the seamy underworld setting of the Danish director's renowned "Pusher"-trilogy.
"Drive" revolves around a stunt driver, played by Ryan Gosling, who moonlights as a getaway driver and ends up on the run when he discovers that a contract has been put on him. Gosling stars alongside Carey Mulligan ("An Education"), Ron Pearlman ("Hellboy"), Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men").
"Even from the small images Refn shows me on his iPhone I can still sense the fascinating mood of pulp, noir and LA sentimentality," says Eva Novrup Redvall in a talk with the director in FILM#72.
Read interviews in FILM#72
Find interviews with Lars von Trier, Frederikke Aspöck, Nicolas Winding Refn and many more in the Danish Film Institute's Cannes magazine, online on our Cannes website on 6 May.
Our festival site will keep you updated on news, films and events related to Danish participation at the Cannes Festival 2011. www.dfi.dk/cannes