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Nymphomaniac confirms lead, promises two films and dual versions

CharlotteGainsbourg.jpgLars von Trier is set to continue to shock people although thankfully this time he's continuing to do it in film with his next project Nymphomaniac. The title says a lot but I wonder if it misrepresents the idea of the film a little, perhaps through our own preconceptions of the word and misuse of it. Regardless controversy is going to follow the film for a number of reasons.

Not least the fact that the film, which has just found its lead actress, is going to feature two versions one of which will feature actual sexual acts in its hardcore version and will also explore the sexuality of a younger woman.

I know, instantly there are alarm bells ringing inside your head with that phrase, and like the title Nymphomaniac it sets your mind off in a very clear direction straight away, and I'm really not sure how to defend or discuss the point from here on, especially as the stories suggest that the film may touch upon the sexuality of a girl.

It is perhaps the most shocking part of the story, but it is one that's designed to get people enraged and talking just as much as the title itself will and the thought that there will be a hardcore and softcore version of the film.

According to The Guardian Lars von Trier's business partner and producer, Peter Aalbæk Jensen:

"Lars wants to see the sexual arousement of a girl [on screen]...Of course you have some legal problems that you have to work around. Right now he's in the writing process."

Of course there are. Okay, let's all breathe for a moment. Let's think context, translation and early hype here before we start leaping to conclusions. Of course the way the comment sounds with regard the use of the phrase "legal problems...to work around" isn't the best, but I'm sure it wasn't meant like that especially in reference to a girl. Still, it doesn't sound good at this point.

Looking at the entire film and story in context though it seems a lot less worrying and I wonder if there's just a focus on the above comment to get the headlines. The film is going to follow the sexual life of a woman from her birth through to middle age, an ambitious story indeed, and the idea is that it will feature actual sexual scenes on screen.

Of course that's in the hardcore version, there will be a softcore version made for mainstream cinema and television as Aalbæk Jensen said:

"If Lars wants to make explicit sex scenes in the film, he also has to make a version that can be shown on TV in Europe. He has accepted that."

He also pointed out that the film won't be everything we're reading about so far:

"This will also be a very amusing film too. A bit of fun, and slightly philosophical, following the sexual awakening of a woman."

You see for me that's the part that I'm hoping for more than anything else, that's the part that sounds like a more interesting film and aside from the hype and leaping at comments about certain aspects of it, that's the part that I hope comes through the most.

It's interesting if you think of his previous films which have shocking moments in them but overall deliver something different. Take Antichrist (Filmstalker review) for example, there are some shocking scenes in them designed to do just that and to push boundaries and undoubtedly enrage people, but the entirety of the film delivers something much more interesting. Mind you at the same time I didn't take to Antichrist that well and felt he sabotaged his own message and film, whatever that was supposed to be, with the overriding need to shock.

Let's get back to the film in hand though and the idea that there will be two versions. Well that's what was being touted just a few days ago and has been for some time, there will be two versions but there also looks like there will be two films for there to be two versions of.

It seems that the idea of following the woman's story from birth to middle age is too big for one film and Aalbæk Jensen reveals through Screen Daily and The Playlist that there are going to be two films as well with the first film looking to her childhood and adolescence and the second film focusing on her adulthood.

So we're talking about four films now, two films about the main character's sexual life with them being released in an uncensored format and a blurred out format for mainstream cinema and television. This is ambitious.

The not so startling confirmation also arrives that Charlotte Gainsbourg is definitely taking the lead, something we've heard before today but seems to be officially confirmed at this point.

What do you think of the whole idea of the film, and the fact that Nymphomaniac appears to be getting two films as opposed to one? Would you dare to go and see the uncensored version? Is it that someone going to see a von Trier film would automatically do anyway, or would the uncensored version attract you more? What of the controversy around the man and the idea of the sexuality of a girl? Is von Trier pushing too far this time?



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