Nymphomaniac

Mandalay Pictures

This year brings us the 10th edition of Fantastic Fest, the biggest and boldest genre film festival in the United States and the creation of the minds who brought the world the wonderful Alamo Drafthouse theater chain. As longtime FSR readers will note, we’ve been covering this thing for a number of years. We’ve seen blood spilt, psyches tortured, evils emerge from the depths and heroes triumph. We’ve seen the festival’s founder dress up like Kim Jong-Un and a number of in-person roundhouse kicks from legendary action stars. Fantastic Fest brings out the best (and creepiest) of genre cinema. Action, suspense, horror and a commitment to the everlasting weird. We’re excited to send the team back into that dark environment, where audiences are terrorized, energized and stuffed with delicious fried foods. It’s our favorite time of year and we’re excited that we get to take all of you along for the ride. So stick with us over the next week as we report on the movies of Fantastic Fest X. First, we take a look at the most fucked up things we expect to see down in Austin this week.

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AntiChrist

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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discs LAKE PLACID

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Lake Placid An otherwise quiet lake in New England becomes a hub of bloody activity when a giant crocodile makes itself known by biting a diver in half. The local sheriff (Brendan Gleeson) calls in wildlife officials including Bill Pullman, and the pair are soon joined by academics Bridget Fonda and Oliver Platt. Together they work to capture or kill the beast, but the croc has other ideas. Steve Miner’s film belongs on the same shelf as Tremors as a terrific horror comedy that balances the laughs and the monster mayhem to near perfection. The cast is stellar across the board with spectacularly fun performances from Platt and Gleeson in particular. Betty White’s foul-mouthed turn is still a lot of fun too. The effects, a mix of practical and CGI, work like gangbusters to bring the croc to life, and the end result is an all-around fun as hell flick. Just make sure you avoid the progressively crappy sequels. (All three of them.) [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews, featurette, trailer]

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Heathers Movie

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Nymphomaniac school girl scene

Usually when we put together a giveaway here on Film School Rejects, it’s something simple. A copy of a new movie on DVD, a poster for an upcoming indie signed by its headlining star, sometimes even books. All of these are fine giveaways that have attracted a number of entries. But none of them are quite as good as this one. The folks at Magnolia Pictures came to us in the hopes that we’d want to give you something that may spur you on to check out Lars von Trier’s odyssey of sexuality Nymphomaniac. And while we initially wanted to give away a riding crop, we’ve found something better: a way for you to actually watch the movie. One lucky reader will win an Apple TV and a $20 iTunes gift card that can be used to rent both Nymphomaniac: Volume I and Volume II. All you have to do to be entered into the contest is be a subscriber to The Weekly Edition, our weekly email service that will keep you filled in on all the best of Film School Rejects. Instructions are below.

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Dancer in the Dark

If there’s anything about Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 that’s shocking, it’s not the graphic, non-simulated intercourse nor the detailed story of a sex addict who we first meet nearly beaten to death and left in the street. It’s how goofy the movie is. It’s all the metaphorical parallels between nymphomania and fly fishing and all the mathematical elements, especially including those that take literal form with numbers on screen. I read nothing about the film going in and had presumed it would be darker, even depressing. Maybe some black humor as only the maniacal mind of von Trier would devise, but nothing as funny as this is. It’s more The Boss of It All than any of his other recent movies. When I mentioned the tone to someone who is only slightly familiar with von Trier’s work, she expressed surprise, admitting that she thought all of his movies were depressing. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve actually never found him to be depressing at all. Antichrist and Melancholia were definitely the products of someone who was experiencing a bout with depression, and Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark surely evoke a lot of tears at their ends, but they’re not depressing. Serious is more like it, though there’s also something happy in the silly final shot of the former. Anyway, the conversation and the movie inspired me to look for happy moments in von Trier’s oeuvre, where clips are available at least. Most are, understandably, located in […]

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Antichrist Fox

It’s hard to imagine a career as provocative and unrestrained as Lars von Trier’s taking a turn for even greater extremes. But with 2009’s Antichrist, that’s exactly what the Danish purveyor of human suffering accomplished, making a film that inspired massive walkouts, presumed on the surface to take seriously the notion of gender-inherent evil, and added a talking fox of doom to our cinematic language. The ambivalent reception (to put it as mildly as possible) of Antichrist at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival is best encapsulated by the two recognitions the film received: the Best Actress award for Charlotte Gainsbourg, and an “anti-award” recognizing the film as “the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world.” While shocking and offending audiences with portrayals of suffering women is hardly new territory for von Trier, Antichrist marked a turning point. Having abandoned for the foreseeable future his “USA: Land of Opportunities” trilogy, von Trier instead turned to a series of films less connected by continued themes, and instead threaded by the director’s open approach to filmmaking itself as a therapeutic process to combat his depression. After continuing with Melancholia, this unofficial trilogy of sorts sees its third entry with the much-discussed two-part Nymphomaniac, currently rolling out over March and April in theaters and on VOD. So here is a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a director currently banned from the Cannes Film Festival.

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Nymphomaniac

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Grand Budapest Hotel

March may not be the most wonderful time of the year, but this year it’s a pretty wonderful 31-day span. There’s a Wes Anderson movie, Muppets, a biblical epic, and the return of one of TV’s most charming characters. This month is overwhelming with quality, so much so that I had to exclude Eva Green’s performance in 300: Rise of an Empire from this list. Not only is that semi-sequel more fun, self-aware, and bonkers than the original, but Green chews up every bit of CG scenery in her sight. I already feel shame for scratching it off. Make sure to experience Green’s performance in 3D. Never before has a woman kissing a decapitated head been portrayed with such grace, but somehow Green and the power of a third dimension makes the romantic act more beautiful and visceral than ever. None of the 10 films featured below has the actress killing it in the third dimension, but they all have their own things going for them. Again, it’s an excellent month to look forward to.

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nymphomaniac film

It seems safe to assume that Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is not a cinematic event with lots of cross-audience appeal. The epic sex drama (sexrama?) seems to appeal almost exclusively to hardcore cinephiles and, yes, fans of hardcore sex.  And it’s not just the explicit material that sets this one apart from the pack, it’s also its hefty runtime and split release. The Charlotte Gainsbourg-starring film clocks in at just over four hours, but the film has been sliced into two different volumes that will release in the U.S. at two different times, ensuring that fans will have to find two different time periods to decide, “hey, let’s head out for some emotionally draining sexual escapades at the theater, okay?” While the film opened across some parts of Europe late last year (including a handful of countries that saw the opening of both films on the same day, though in an abridged format) with dates continuing to bleed into January and February, it’s also been making the film festival rounds, most recently screening in Berlin and previously popping up as a secret screening at Sundance (only Volume 1 was played, and the late notice event went up against the world premiere of the The Raid 2, not exactly ideal conditions). The film is undoubtedly a conversation-starter, but its split is also the subject of serious chatter, principally centered on debating the merits of seeing the film at two different times and not just watching the thing in a complete manner. […]

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www.indiewire-4

Lars von Trier‘s very public love affair with our naughty parts rolls on, with its most recent cinematic actualization culminating in Nymphomaniac: Part One debuting at the Berlin Film Festival in February, and a release to general audiences March 21, 2014. The second volume, of what will combined come in at 4 1/2 hours, will arrive in theaters April 18, 2014. While von Trier has promised an excess of skin and debauch in the theatrical releases, audiences at the Berlinale will be treated with an extra explicit, 5 1/2 hour version of the tale of Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s Joe, and her  trials and travails as a lifelong nymphomaniac. Below are a healthy mix of not particularly shocking character portraits, some film stills, and the previously mentioned NSFW additions, of which topless ladies are prominently featured. If anyone feels robbed by the lack of penis inclusion in the collection, a quick Google Image Search of “naked mole rat” should scratch that itch. You’re welcome in advance.

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nymphomaniac_ver17

Titillation is to be expected. Perhaps some embarrassment, a blush, furtive glances. Revulsion comes second (and sometimes, not at all!). The recent marketing for Lars von Trier’s two-part Nymphomaniac hasn’t shied away from its subject matter in the slightest – the nudity, the orgasmic faces, and the bold tagline “FORGET ABOUT LOVE” are both bold and bruising – and the result is one of the most well-made and deeply disturbing marketing campaigns in recent memory. The excitement of seeing sex on the big screen is there, certainly, but so is the lingering sense that everything here is very, very wrong.  

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DF-08470.CR2

Willem Dafoe is a chameleon, and everyone knows it. He’s ruled as Emperor to the Green Martian Tharks, done a painfully human portrait of Jesus, terrorized Spider-Man, eaten a bird as Max Schreck, and, of course, convincingly played a Huey Lewis and the News fan. Yet, that handful of roles doesn’t even begin to cover half of the shapeshifting Dafoe has done over his career. He can carry a picture, light some sparks with only a few minutes of screen time, or, in the case of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, have his voice do all the work. In Out of the Furnace he plays John Petty, a low-rent gangster Rodney Baze Jr. (Casey Affleck) does underground fights for. All of Dafoe’s scenes either involve Affleck, Christian Bale, or Woody Harrelson. Working opposite of those three isn’t exactly a bad day’s work. Dafoe has acted with some of the best (including himself in Spider-Man) and the topic of what makes a compatible scene partner came up when I spoke with him recently.

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Frozen

By now you’ve likely already heard about the debacle surrounding a Frozen screening at a multiplex in Pinellas Park, Florida in which a house full of parents and children were subjected to “sexually explicit content.” After some family-friendly trailers followed by Get a Horse (Disney’s short attached to Frozen), some sensitive material reportedly graced the screen for two awkward minutes. One patron recalls shielding her son’s eyes but preventing him from being able to “get the sound down real good.” Patrons were given free tickets and an official apology by the Park Place Stadium 16. Sites across the web covering the incident seem to have all agreed that the sounds in question were from the NSFW trailer for Lars von Trier’s customarily controversial and much-covered new film Nymphomaniac, a rumor that apparently originated from a comment on MoshNews‘s coverage. But is it actually plausible that a multiplex owned by Regal Cinemas would “accidentally” show a shocking trailer for a limited release film that doesn’t even have a US opening date? While misplaced trailers, out-of-order reels, and showing a film on the wrong screen was commonplace in the stone age of projecting films on film, in the era of digital projection such a thing is pretty much impossible.

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Purely in terms of trailers, the flashing images of the Nymphomaniac advertisement are shocking. As for the film itself, it’s a safe bet that Lars von Trier will have something unsettling, maybe even wince-worthy (see: Antichrist) in store, but there’s little chance it will be truly shocking to anyone who’s either had sex or seen it portrayed on screen. The images here are shocking, but only because of the alienating thrill of seeing them in a promo. However, replace the nudity and sex with explosions and gun blasts, and it’d be a mainstream action trailer. The production is most likely saving a lot of money shots for later, but this peek seems to point to newcomer Stacy Martin (as Young Joe) getting the brunt of the challenge. Then again, von Trier is known for putting his actresses through the ringer, so it’s doubtful anyone’s safe. At least not for work.

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Prelude to a Wholesome Evening

Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac is a five and a half hour sexcapade through the life of a hardcore (what else?) nymphomaniac and, by its very existence, dares producers to waggle their fingers in shame and cut away large portions of the film. So it comes as a surprise to precisely no one that, when Von Trier turned in his cut of Nymphomaniac, its producers immediately seized upon it, fingers primed and scalpels at the ready. But what may come as a surprise to some is that the paring down of Von Trier’s newest “sex epic” has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with money. An interview with producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen in the Danish magazine Filmmagasinet Ekko (conveniently translated for us English speakers by The Hollywood Reporter) sheds light on all the gory details. Von Trier’s cut of Nymphomaniac was first relieved of ninety minutes of footage, reducing it to a brisk four hours, then split down the middle into two separate feature films. No sex will be cut, or at least no sex will be cut solely for the sake of toning the film down. As well, previous plans to release a second, less explicit version of Nymphomaniac have been abandoned, and individual distributors will now decide for themselves whose junk will be blurred out and whose will be left intact.

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nymphomaniac-poster-charlotte

In case you haven’t heard, Lars von Trier‘s new film Nymphomaniac is about sex. What, the title didn’t give it away?  The film made infamous by Shia LaBeouf‘s claims that he’s *stage whispers* actually having sex on camera, has been rolling along steadily on the NSFW path since von Trier announced the project. And with these fourteen positively orgasmic character posters just released, it doesn’t seem like that will be stopping any time soon.

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Nympomaniac Labeouf

It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for another exciting chapter tease from Lars Von Trier’s upcoming Nymphomaniac. Last month, we got a lesson in pickup artistry, yesterday we got a nude caress, and today we get a super sleazy Shia Labeouf as Jerome showing young Joe (Stacy Martin) some special tricks the elevator can do. Enjoy taking a shower afterward:

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nympho

There are undoubtedly plenty of people who will see Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac for its artistic value, its frank look at sex and its continuation of Von Trier’s deeply disturbing (and very artsy) filmography. There are also plenty of people who will see it for one reason and one reason only: to see the craziness that is Shia LaBoeuf performing unspeakable acts onscreen.

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nympho

There’s already been a lot of talk surrounding Danish director Lars Von Trier’s next project, Nymphomaniac. But that’s bound to happen once you announce that you’re making a movie about one woman’s lifetime of sex addiction that’s going to feature graphic scenes of sexual penetration performed by mainstream actors. Or will it? The debate as to whether or not we’re going to be shown Shia LaBeouf’s penis has been raging for over a year now. But putting Shia LaBeouf’s penis aside for a moment, the film has just released its first teaser, or its first “Nymphomaniac appetizer,” as they’re calling it, so we can now finally get our first glimpse at exactly what level of shocking tawdriness the esteemed director of Antichrist has in store for us this time around. Spoilers: it involves young girls having sex with strangers on a train.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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