Is Lars von Trier‘s sex epic “Nymphomaniac” getting taken away from him, or are we in the middle of a delicate dance between commercial prospects and artistic integrity? We’d wager it’s the latter rather than the former at the moment, but it would seem for the first time in his career, the provocative director is finding his voice somewhat muted. Reports circulated yesterday that Lars von Trier’s reported 5 1/2-hour cut of the movie is being whittled down to 4 hours for the Danish release of the movie, and indeed it’s a decision being made in the interest of financial viability.
“The short version is against Lars’ own will, but he accepts it because he understands market mechanisms,” the director’s longtime producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen told Filmmagasinet Ekko. “You cannot make a film for more than 60 million kroners [about $11 million] that is so lengthy. Five and a half hour is so extreme that it reduces market value so radically that investors would have felt they had bought a pig in a poke.”
So, fine, we’ll see the longer, hardcore version at Cannes right? Well, according to THR, Jensen has denied those plans and more crucially, dropped the early idea of releasing separate softcore and hardcore cuts of the movie. Instead, Danish cinemas will see the explicit 4-hour cut in December while the various distributors around the world will receive the same version, and given the option to blur whatever naughty bits they deem necessary.
So where does that leave Lars von Trier’s director’s cut? For now, in limbo it seems, as it’s unclear if/when/how it will be released, though presumably it will appear on a DVD or Blu-ray release somewhere down the line. But for now, it seems there are even limits for von Trier, who will see his latest go out in a condensed cut he hasn’t even seen. [THR]