Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac is going to be released as four separate films. Oh and it's a porno.

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Infamous Danish director and screenwriter Lars Von Trier just does not know how to make easy films, be it either because of the controversial subject matter or the techniques he employs. Dancer in the Dark spliced together footage from literally hundreds of cameras recording the same scenes, and Von Trier’s hard on-set demands famously resulted in pop-star turned debutante actress, Bjork, refusing to make another film ever again. Dogville didn’t even have a set, just chalk lines on the floor indicating where rooms should be. And Antichrist… Well, lets just say that if you can make through that film without cringing at least about 10 times, then you can take that as empirical evidence that you are dead inside.

Compared to all of that his last film, Melancholia, despite being steeped in depression as it deals with the literal end of the world, was like a Hallmark TV movie. But Von Trier is going to make up for all of that by having his next film not only be cut into two parts, but to have two different versions of each part. One of them featuring hardcore non-simulated sex. 

Nymphomaniac tells the tale of “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to 50” and will star Charlotte Gainsborough (who also starred in Melancholia and Antichrist) in the titular role, as she recounts her story of sexual awakening to a stranger (Stellan Skarsgard). The film will be divided into 8 chapters, a technique that Von Trier has employed in a number of his films, but this time the chapters will be spread over two feature length films, as producer Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen told Screen Daily:

“We are making two films. It is a big operation. I personally hope that we should be ready for Cannes next year. We will shoot both and edit both – and we want to finish both at the same time.”

Controversially, the sex in the film – and judging by the content matter, I’m guessing that there is going to be a lot of it – will be of the hardcore pornographic variety, sans cheesy guitar riff of course. Von Trier will be making a “softcore” version as well, but he won’t be shooting anything differently to get it tamed down:

“We will probably blur the central points of the human body for the release worldwide but we will probably make one unblurred that will be for screening maybe in Cannes.

Despite having won the coveted Palm d’Or in 2000 for Dancer in the Dark, Von Trier was banned from the Cannes film festival due to some in-bad-taste Nazi comments made during an interview for Melancholia last year. Meaning that Gainsborough (who won the Cannes Best Actress award for Antichrist) and her co-stars will probably be representing the film on their own at the film fest.

It’s also unclear at this point whether the hardcore scenes in the film will feature Gainsborough herself or employ a body double as she did in Antichrist (I don’t care if I know it was fake, an image of Gainsborough brandishing a pair of scissors will haunt me as long as I live), but either way you should probably be ready for some really heavy imagery, despite what the first line from this synopsis may tell you:

NYMPHOMANIAC is the light and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-‐diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe.

On a cold winter’s evening Seligman (Skarsgard), an old bachelor, finds Joe (Gainsborough) semi‐unconscious and beaten up in an alleyway. After bringing her to his flat he sees to her wounds while trying to understand how things could have gone so wrong for her. He listens intently as she over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-‐out and multi faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

Last Updated: April 26, 2012

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