You may remember that Lars Von Trier ended up taking a wild hair he mentioned during Melancholia Cannes press — making a pornographic drama about a woman’s sexual life — and spinning the idea into his next film. Called simply Nymphomaniac, the film now has a full synopsis to go along with Charlotte Gainsbourgh and Stellan Skarsgard, its two confirmed cast members. Here’s the skinny:
Nymphomaniac is the wild 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 the old, charming bachelor, Seligman, finds Joe beaten up in an alleyway. He brings her home to his flat where he tends to her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-out and multi faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.
All of that reads to me like flowery prose bending over backwards to present a “somebody tells a story” screenwriting mechanism that allows for shaggy dog stories like Forrest Gump and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The synopsis has Skarsgard’s character discover Gainsbourgh’s nymphomaniac Joe beaten up in the gutter and hearing her story, which is essentially Von Trier’s version of a friendly black lady talking to a dude on a bench in Savannah holding chocolates. All of this leads to, you know, the long, episodic kind of film that has little in the way of driving conflict, relying on the “personal journey” to power the narrative.
Perhaps Von Trier will put his own spin on it, but his films tend to have a flowing, unfolding pace to them that is ultimately based on a linear, one-thing-leads-to-another narrative, even when twisted by, say, the nightmare-logic progression of Antichrist.
I’ve got nothing against fictional biographical films, I just like when Von Trier does interesting things and I’ve yet to be convinced that this film is something that’s not going to shove itself up its own ass (figuratively- I’m almost sure it will literally). It’s got the benefit of the doubt from me for sure, but I’m at least a tiny bit skeptical, and the promise of that manner of storytelling certainly doesn’t make that go away. Don’t think for a second I won’t be on this like scissors on clit the second I get a chance to see it though.
Source | ComingSoon (via JoBlo)