To celebrate – well, celebrate might be a tad upbeat in this instance – the release of Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia , a movie that deals with an end of the world scenario through the prism of a dysfunctional family wedding,  here are a list of works that may or may not have influenced the cheery Dane. Post-apocalyptic tales are unfortunately omitted here thus disqualifying the likes of Mad Max and Albert Pyun‘s Cyborg from consideration. I’ve also avoided (by and large) the disaster movie genre as practiced by the likes of Roland Emmerich, Irwin Allen and Michael Bay as their films tend to end on a quite hopeful, sappy note.

I have yet to see Melancholia in which a giant planet threatens to engulf the earth but it’s only a matter of time considering I am an admirer of Von Trier’s work at least in the formal sense and am an advocate of melancholia itself so if the film lacks sufficient levels of depression and despondency aspects I will have to rise up in protest….well…no, why bother actually? what will it prove ultimately? Whats the point of it all? I’m off to bury my head in a giant bowl of sugar and sadness.

The End of the World (1916) ( Denmark) Director: August Blom

A silent  spectacular in which a giant comet collides with earth causing natural disaster and catastrophe directed by a Dane, in this case the prolific silent film pioneer August Blom, The End of the World may have been a formative influence on a young Von Trier. No footage available online unfortunately.

When Worlds Collide (1951) (US) Dir: Rudolph Mate

George Pal’s classic science fiction spectacle shows the Earth facing destruction from a giant, luminous ball of plasma (a star). Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects in 1951.

The Day The Earth Caught Fire (1961) (UK) Dir: Val Guest


Miracle Mile (1988)(US) Dir: Steve de Jarnatt

Last Night (1998)(CAN) Director: Don Mc Kellar

Time of The Wolf/Le Temps du Loup (2003)(FR/AUS/GER) Director: Michael Haneke