Controversial Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier is apparently turning to diamonds and virtual reality as a new method of representing his movies.
Von Trier has created “Melancholia: The Diamond,” inspired by his 2011 movie, as an exhibition the M HKA, a modern art museum in Antwerp, Belgium, according to the New York Times. The stone is a 12-carat double diamond, created from two stones. Visitors view an enlarged rendition through a virtual reality helmet. He told the newspaper that he wants to create similar art installations for his other 12 films.
The exhibition, which runs until May 5, was co-produced by von Trier’s producing partner Marianne Slot and Leonid Ogarev, a Russian businessman who paid an undisclosed price for the diamond. Von Trier told the newspaper that the diamond has a brilliant cut on one side and is rough on the other with his initials “LvT” carved into it.
“Melancholia,” starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Dunst was awarded best actress at the festival for her portrayal of a woman who becomes deeply depressed on her wedding night while a planet called Melancholia hurtles toward Earth.
“What I’m trying to do is to capture the mood,” von Trier said of the display.
The director said he chose Antwerp because of its association with the diamond trade. He also allowed that he may have chosen “Melancholia” as the subject of the display “on a subconscious level” due to the controversy which surrounded the film eight years ago.
Von Trier had said jokingly said at the 2011 Cannes news conference “I’m a Nazi” and added that he had sympathy for Adolf Hitler. As a result, von Trier was temporarily banned from Cannes and charged with defamation in France. Those charges were ultimately dropped and he returned to Cannes in May with his serial killer film “The House That Jack Built.” That film, starring Matt Dillon, prompted about 100 walkouts but also received a 10-minute standing ovation.
Von Trier said his next diamond display would be inspired by his 1995 film “Breaking the Waves,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes. He plans to use laser-based diamond cutting technology to craft the display.