February 20, 2017
BERLIN 2017: The Danish director’s The House That Jack Built, which is yet to shoot, is in high demand at the Berlinale, where TrustNordisk has licensed it worldwide
Danish director Lars von Trier has not yet shot a single frame of his upcoming thriller The House That Jack Built, but the combination of von Trier, a serial killer, US actor Matt Dillon and Swiss actor Bruno Ganz is proving to be a strong sales argument at the European Film Market of the Berlin International Film Festival, where Danish international sales agent TrustNordisk has already signed numerous contracts for the €8.76 million feature.
Von Trier last visited the Berlinale in 2014 with the out-of-competition world premiere of his Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 [+], starring French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, concluding his so-called Trilogy of Depression. The film went on to win 14 awards on the international festival circuit.
In von Trier’s new movie, which also stars Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl and US actress Riley Keough, he follows the highly intelligent Jack’s development as a serial killer over 12 years in 1970s America. Jack claims that each murder is an artwork in itself, but as the police close in on him, he starts taking greater and greater risks in what is described as “a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasionally humorous tale”.
Scripted by the director, The House That Jack Built, which will shoot in Trollhättan, Sweden, and in Copenhagen,is being produced by Louise Vesth for Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments with Swedish regional film centre Film Väst and Paris-based Slot Machine, among other partners. Nordisk Film Distribution will handle Nordic distribution of the film, which is set for a 2018 release.
This year, TrustNordisk is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the business, and newly appointed director of international sales and marketing Susan Wendt confirmed that the following territories are now covered for The House That Jack Built: the UK (Curzon Artificial Eye), France (Les Films du Losange), Latin America (California Filmes), Germany, Austria (Telemünchen), Benelux (September), Greece (Seven Films), Portugal (Leopardo filmes), Poland (Gutek), the former Yugoslavia (Cinemania), the Czech Republic (Aerofilms), Russia (Russian World Vision), Hungary (Vertigo Media), Bulgaria (Euro Films), Romania (Independenta Film 97), the Baltics (Estin Film), Israel (Shani Film), the Middle East (Falcon Films), China (DD Dream International Media), South Korea (Atnine Film), Taiwan (Moviecloud) and Hong Kong (Sundream).
Meanwhile, Denmark’s Brandts Museum for Art and Visual Culture in Odense is preparing the “Lars von Trier - The Good With the Bad” exhibition, which will be on show between 29 September 2017 and 25 March 2018, and is currently looking for objects that will help to explore his career and personal life. “It could be the film prize he threw away at Cannes in 1991, props or costumes, a drawing he made during his haunted school days, an old love letter, paintings he did, photos from his childhood or youth film productions,” explained his longtime friend and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen.
Two von Trier moments to be remembered: in Paris 1995, during the marking of the 100th anniversary of cinema, he distributed flyers announcing the Dogme manifesto; and in 2011, when at a press conference during the Cannes International Film Festival, he said that he understood Hitler – and was then declared persona non grata.