One of our most-anticipated festival premieres this fall, Vox Lux is the second feature from Brady Corbet, following the harrowing The Childhood of a Leader. Ahead of a Venice debut, the first teaser has now arrived, showing off Natalie Portman on her pop stardom journey, from 1999 to 2017. The preview is brief but enticing, following her character of Celeste as she prepares for a fabulous stage entrance.

Vanity Fair, who premiered the tease, also has more details about the ensemble. The Killing of a Scared Deer star Raffey Cassidy will play a young Celeste, when she experiences major trauma, which eventually provides her gateway into music. Stacy Martin plays her sister, who is also a songwriter, while Jude Law takes the role of her manager. As previously reported, Scott Walker will once again team with Corbet for the score, while Sia will provide original songs.

See the teaser below, following Corbet’s director’s statement.

My previous film, The Childhood of a Leader, was set in Europe in the early part of the 20th century. It examined key events that would go on, often inadvertently, to define the era. It featured a young protagonist who was witness to the atrocities of an epoch, only to become a cause of them for the next. The film was inspired by the revisionist histories of Robert Musil and W.G. Sebald – labyrinthine constructs that imagine fictional characters as eyewitnesses of crucial historical turning-points, or real-life personages placed in altered historical settings. For me, these stories demonstrate a more transparent contract with the reader than the traditional historical biography, because one is able to access the past without questioning the author about how they could provide such a detailed account of an event without having been present for the event themselves. Or if they had been present, in the case of a memoir, has their memory of past experiences not betrayed them?

Vox Lux is the continuation of that theme but on the other side of the century: a historical melodrama set in America between 1999 and 2017. Its protagonist is a pop star called Celeste and it chronicles, via her gaze, key events and cultural patterns that have so far defined the early 21st century.

Vox Lux premieres at Venice and plays at TIFF.

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