And we all thought “Antichrist” was fucked up—sexually, emotionally and psychologically. Though Lars Von Trier did a moody left turn with his operatic depression comedy “Melancholia” (hear me out—the first half with the wedding from hell is hilarious… the rest, admittedly not so much), it’s entirely possible “Antichrist” was just a warmup for his latest movie, the four-hour (maybe 5.5 hours one day) “Nymphomaniac,” which, at least from the trailer and teasers, proves that Von Trier has not mellowed with age and isn’t done challenging or terrorizing his audiences.
A two-part drama — chaptered into eight parts — told in flashbacks about a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saves her after a beating, the movie stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as the protagonist Joe and Stacy Martin as her younger self. The movie also co-stars Stellan Skarsgård, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Connie Nielsen, Mia Goth, Jens Albinus, Severin von Hoensbroech, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Udo Kier, Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr, and Sophie Kennedy Clark.
More importantly, the full-length trailer for the movie debuted on Friday and was so NSFW, hardcore and provocative, YouTube pulled down the official “Nymphomaniac” channel’s trailer (not the first time this has happened). The film is being released in Denmark and Norway on Christmas Day (oh joy!) and the Cannes Film Festival organizers have already said, while Lars is welcome back one day, his epic hardcore porn won’t be eligible for a competition slot (though the door is open for an Out Of Competition berth).
To, ahem, “celebrate” the new trailer, we thought we’d do a little breakdown of its 10 best (money) shots. The trailer is below all the photos in case you somehow missed it. Magnolia has already picked up U.S. rights for the film, but no word yet on when it’ll debut.
1. Chaos Reigns With Underpants
So mischievous, Lars. A young girl (who looks like Stacy Martin’s Joe) lies prostrate on a table with her underpants around her ankles masturbating. Of course, there’s a (stuffed?) fox on the end of the table with its paw touching her leg. A little nod to the talking fox in “Antichrist”? Either way, that’s messed up, Lars.
2. Daddy’s lap
A young, totally naked Joe sits in the lap of an older gentleman. Classy.
Well, of course. You can’t really do a provocative sex drama without it these days, right?
An older Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) screams before she’s about to be S&M spanked by Jamie Bell. “That’s not how it goes,” he says, seemingly annoyed. “Most people don’t scream until I hit them.” (This is brilliantly followed by a cut of Joe’s mom [Uma Thurman] screaming violently.)
5. Spit or Swallow?
So a young Joe is on a quest of… identity and sexual awakening, trying out everything in the book as a means to be… adventurous? This is where Lars is rather brilliant. So what if she is? It’s her prerogative, no? Joe gets on a train and blows what appears to be a stranger and attempts to swallow, followed by a proud grin (juxtaposed next to what looks like a horrified older man).
6. Girl on Top
Oh, this is pretty tame when you think about it. At least by Lars’ standards.
7. More Lesbianism
Joe still has a taste for the sapphic flavor as she’s older. More likely she’s simply an equal opportunity sex-addict. What appears most interesting about the film is that it feels more like exploration than damnation. Don’t expect Lars to be judging anyone too harshly here or creating a cautionary tale about addiction, sex or otherwise.
8. Forced To Watch
One shot in the trailer clearly indicates a disturbing image: Joe being fucked with some other mystery man’s face being held and forced to watch. A relative? Either way, that can’t be fun and, like many Lars Von Trier films, we assume the movie is going to be as punishing and grueling as it is twistedly funny.
9. “The Whoring Bed”
OK, not a shot per se, but the best line in the trailer is easily Uma Thurman asking Stacy Martin “Would it be alright if I show the children the whoring bed?” This is Lars’ disturbing, but hilarious comedy mien to a tee.
10. Full On Fellatio
Von Trier has said before that the actors would be… uhhh, performing their own stunts. That’s since been debunked. Evidently, porn actors will be doubling the actors for all the graphic sex scenes in the movie (which, yes, will likely show penetration). But if Charlotte Gainsbourg is swallowing something fake here, it’s pretty damn believable (ala Vincent Gallo’s infamous “The Brown Bunny,” which was either 100% fake or 100% real, depending on who you ask).
11. Recovery Porn?
Yes, there are tons of NSFW and pornographic shots in the trailer, yet the least graphic—but perhaps most provocative and twisted—is a black and white shot of Joe. She’s in the hospital and… uhh, getting wet. Her passion visibly drips down her leg as the camera rack focuses to reveal the bandaged face of Christian Slater’s character lying unconscious in a hospital bed. A convalescing fetish? Lars, this one takes the cake.
Extra Credit. The Beaver
A screen shot here would be too much, but it’s not hard to spot a full-on closeup of a vagina in the opening super-flashing montage. Just give it a whirl and be quick with the pause button if you dare.
Thoughts? What’s amazing about this film is that Lars Von Trier certainly isn’t shying away at any charges that he’s a misogynist. In fact, he’ll be racing right at them. Before you dismiss him, however, do think of the cast—especially Charlotte Gainsbourg, who’s put her faith in the director twice before. There’s a method to the madness, clearly, though what it is this time (perhaps a comment on sexuality and dark desires?) remains to be seen until we all finally witness it.