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Lars von Trier
Director Lars von Trier takes vow of silence on “Nymphomaniac”

The Magnolia Pictures publicity department sent out a press release announcing the release dates for Lars von Trier’s feverishly-anticipated motion picture, “Nymphomaniac,” which will be released as two full-length feature films.

“NYMPHOMANIAC: PART ONE” will open in theaters on March 21, 2014, and be available On Demand as of March 6, 2014. “NYMPHOMANIAC: PART TWO” will open in theaters on April 18, 2014 and be available On Demand as of April 3, 2014. And as a special holiday gift to the Danes, both films will have their international debut there Christmas Day.

The press release went out yesterday with a hilarious photograph of the provocative director with tape over his mouth. The release goes on to say von Trier has “vowed” to cease doing press on behalf of his films after being “harshly criticized for comments” he made when he was in Cannes in 2011 for the screening of his film “Melancholia,” co-starring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, when he said, “I’m a Nazi.”

Back then, the Cannes publicity machine immediately tried to distant themselves from von Trier’s comments, and they issued an apology. Von Trier also tried to apologize and dig himself out of a hole with a statement he sent in which he denied being a Nazi.

Sex sells, and the producers are milking that angle for all its worth. All around New York you can see posters of Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark and Gainsbourg supposedly at the moment they are having orgasms. It may be a turn-on for some, although others may find the orgasm-faces of Stellan Skarsgard and Udo Kier downright scary or horrifying.

The Magnolia press release says part 1 of “Nymphomaniac” begins when a woman (Gainsbourg) self-diagnosed with this condition is discovered badly beaten up in an alley. An older bachelor (Skarsgard) tends to her wounds as she recounts her erotic adolescence. It also stars Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier.
 The second part of “Nymphomaniac” continues this epic erotic journey and adds stars Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr.

Von Trier is a provocateur. And he doesn’t like to travel, so this is a good out for him, but I agree – it’s a good idea to keep the tape over his mouth.

He’s also notoriously difficult. Although he’s given women some terrific parts, notably in “Dogville,” “Dancer in the Dark” and “Breaking the Waves,” some actresses have found him tough going.  Bjork, who had her own reported problems with the director,  went on to get an Oscar nomination for “Dancer in the Dark,” but has never made another feature film.

And when Nicole Kidman was honored at the New York Film Festival in 2012, the “Dogville” actress said from the stage of Alice Tully Hall, “I’m obviously drawn to difficult people,” she laughed when asked what it was like to work with von Trier. She added, “He had just had that big blow-out with Bjork, and it was like, ‘Ok, I’m going off to troll land to Sweden to make a film, in a dark place.’”

The sex in “Nymphomaniac” also promises to be dark and unsexy. The director already said it has lots of “unpleasant sex.”

I can only say if you plan to see this movie and it is half as disturbing as “Antichrist,” steel yourself. I was at a screening of “Antichrist” at the New York Film Festival in 2009, and one scene, which featured a naked man’s genitals and a wrench, was so upsetting that one man in the audience passed out and had to be carried out of the theater.

5 COMMENTS

  1. a vow of silence is a good idea! The Cannes press conference was embarrassing to watch, as his clumsy attempts at second degree Nordic humour forced him to dig deeper and deeper holes. I found his attitude towards the actresses an issue as well. The festival reaction was OTT, but that’s par for the course in this PC days.

    He’s the type of guy that can only talk to people that know him well, otherwise he does more damage than good.

    I think you are right about the tone of the upcoming film. It will probably be cringe-worthy!

  2. Although I had to sign a confidentiality waver, I just have to say that, even though the film editing/effects were far from complete, the movie was an amazing piece of narrative. Sure it had Trier’s quintessential explicit-almost-porn scenes, but it wouldn’t have been the same film without it. But the main character’s life and emotions were captured so incredibly well on scene, that I’ve never related to such an un-relatable as much as I did then. If you can handle it, I will definitely recommend everyone to see this film when in releases this fall. With it’s perfect balance of humous and emotional content, It’s truly Trier’s best film yet.

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