The last time Kirsten Dunst played a psychologically fraught character, we got Melancholia, and the last time fashion designers and debuting feature filmmakers Kate and Laura Mulleavy were attached to a feature-length film, we received Black Swan, for which the Mulleavys created costumes befitting the film’s theme of purity lost. Needless to say, when it was announced that these forces of indie cinema—one an established pillar, the other two promising new talents—have joined hands to tell a tale of deadly, drug-fueled paranoia, it was wise to pay attention. Now that this film has received a sublime, siren’s song of a first trailer, it’s become impossible not to.
Titled Woodshock, the A24 film is scant on plot details at the moment, and the trailer is similarly lacking in disposition, but the ensuing narrative disorientation contributes to the teaser’s fragmented, ethereal quality. Opening on a lakeside forest with Dunst in a white dress, the trailer begins by resembling Goodnight Mommy by way of Sofia Coppola, but in the insistence on producing a sense of elevated subjectivity, Darren Aronofsky himself is evoked, suggesting that the Mulleavys might’ve taken some notes during their time working on Black Swan, and, perhaps, been inspired by the director’s earlier Requiem for a Dream, i.e. one of cinema’s quintessential portraits of the drug-addled mind.
Despite these gestures to past films, however, the Woodshock trailer has its own, distinct look that clearly draws on the Mulleavys’ fashion expertise. Colors bleed brightly onscreen, and the trailer makes use of an impressive range of optical effects—from superimpositions to dissolves to odd refractions of light—to produce an overwhelming sense of haziness and frightening indirection. Going mad has seldom looked this beautiful.
You can check out the full trailer above, and catch the film when it premieres on Sept. 15.