First glimpse of images by Zentropa photographer Christian Geisnaes of Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built have been released. The film marks his return to the Cannes Film Festival fold after being banned by the organisers for inflammatory Nazi remarks at the 2011 Festival during the press conference of Melancholia.
The new film is set in the States in the 1970s. The narrative follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) through five incidents. We are introduced to the murders that define Jack's development as a serial killer. The story is experienced from Jack's point of view. He views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world.
Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police intervention is drawing ever near (which both provokes and puts pressure on Jack) he is - contrary to all logic - set on taking greater and greater chances. The goal is the ultimate artwork: A collection of all his killings manifested in a House that he builds. Along the way Jack's descriptions of his personal condition are revealed, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge - a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity.
For Dillon the role marks a new departure. His career has spanned more than three decades and includes The Outsiders, Factotum, Crash (with Oscar and Golden Globe nominations) and the comedy There’s Something About Mary.
Dillon’s films have frequently received critical and festival acclaim. He has described the content of the Von Trier film as “quite dark. I had to take a leap of faith …” while the director has suggested in an interview that he was inspired by the rise of Donald Trump. “I wanted to show that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo Trumpus - the rate king.” Uma Thurman who previously worked with Von Trier on Nymphomaniac, plays one of Jack’s victims.
The cast also features Bruno Ganz, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Grabol, Riley Keough and Jeremy Davies.
The film will be released in the US in the autumn through IFC. The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 8 to 19. Click the images below for larger versions.