This video is safe for work. Shocking, right?
Many of the reported elements of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac are scandalous. As the title itself suggests, this will be a film with some dedicatedly sexual content. Upping the ante are rumors of real sex being shown onscreen, and being penned and helmed by von Trier—who has gamely featured graphic sex and genital mutilation in his past works—we expect the producers’ promise of “hardcore” content will in now way prepare us for what Danish audiences are set to see first on Christmas Day.
What is shocking, and decidedly clever is that the marketing campaign behind the film has been playfully restrained. Sure, we’ve seen some saucy pictures that tease threesomes, fetishes of all sorts, and a Shia LaBeouf-centric sex scene. But the actual footage released thus far is like that above in that it is sexual in nature, but not explicit in its content.
Charlotte Gainsbourg fronts Nymphomaniac as the titular Joe, a woman obsessed with sex. After being savagely beaten in the street, she recounts her life of kinky conquests and desire-driven misadventures to her Good Samaritan, played by Stellan Skarsgård. Last spring, von Trier revealed the structure of his film by releasing a list of chapter titles, one through eight. Each month since then, he’s unveiled one “appetizer” from each chapter. June showed “The Compleat Angler,” in which a young Joe (Stacy Martin) plays a competitive hook-up game on a train.
July debuted “Jerome,” where Joe meets the man played by LaBeouf.
Now August has brought Chapter 3, which features Uma Thurman as “Mrs. H.” As you can surely gather from the clip above, Joe (Martin) has clearly had sex with a married family man known as Mr. H (Hugo Speer). Mrs. H doesn’t appreciate this much, so she takes her three tow-headed sons into see “Daddy’s favorite place,” also known as “the whoring bed,” thereby rubbing her Mr’s nose in it. It’s easy to see why the description of the clip on YouTube reads:
Keeping track of a large network of lovers isn't always easy, and Joe is soon confronted with the unpleasant consequences of being a nymphomaniac.
Next month should bring about the release an appetizer from “Chapter 4: Delirium.” Who knows which of Nymphomaniac’s sprawling ensemble might appear, or what tawdry activity they will be on the verge of performing?