'Melancholia', 'Hell and Back Again' play the Ross

The films "Melancholia," a critically-acclaimed, end-of-the-world drama by Lars von Trier, and "Hell and Back Again," an award-winning documentary, open today at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

"Hell and Back" plays through Jan. 12, while "Melancholia" shows through Jan. 19.

"Melancholia" features Kirsten Dunst as "Justine" and Alex Skarsgard as "Michael." The couple is celebrating their marriage at a party in the home of Justine's sister. Despite the sister's best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, the planet Melancholia is heading directly toward Earth.

Dunst earned the Best Actress Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in "Melancholia." The film also earned the Best Picture Award at the 2011 European Film Awards.

In "Hell and Back Again," photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old U.S. Marine Sergeant Nathan Harris.

Dennis was embedded with the U.S. Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan. In the film, Dennis seamlessly transitions from stunning war footage to an intimate, visceral portrait of one man's personal struggle readjusting to civilian life.

"Hell and Back Again" won the World Cinema Jury Prize and the World Cinema Cinematography Prize, both from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

For more information on films at the Ross, go to http://www.theross.org or call 402-472-5353.

More details at: http://www.theross.org