Lars Von Trier’s sex epic, Nymphomaniac, is becoming one of the most talked about films of recent memory. The highly NSFW trailer dropped last week, and has subsequently been removed from Youtube, and there has been talk for what seems like forever about just how long this film will be.
When first announced, the plan was to release a softcore and hardcore version of the film, and that appears to still be happening. However, a few months ago news dropped that the film was set to be a whopping five and a half hours long! This does indeed seem to be the plan, but the five and a half hour, uncut version (Von Triers true vision) is not likely to see the light of day from a big commercial release. The big release, and the version being sent out for distribution, will be a much shorter four hour version, which will be cut, edited and released in two parts.
It sounds like Von Trier is being given free reign with his uncut version, which should hopefully make its way to DVD & Blu-ray as a directors cut, and while that version will be released with no cuts, and with a heavy certificate (likely to be un-rated or NC-17 in the US, and probably xxx here in the UK), the cut four hour version is what will be heading to Cannes, other festivals and eventually our local multiplex!
To keep things simple, and as to not confuse matters, Von Trier is having nothing to do with the cut version, and that job is in the hands of Molly Marlene Stensgaard (who worked in Melancholia). In a recent interview with Screen Daily, Nymphomaniac producer Louise Vesth confirmed that Von Trier agreed to the shorter version, so that the film could get a worldwide release. The plan is to edit certain scenes and images so that the film can have one simple version to send out to the world, and not have to worry about the in and outs of editing and cutting for particular territories.
“This was the way to even make the film at all. If we only had one version he would have had to make more compromises and distributors all over the world would have had to censor it themselves because of various censorship practices,” the producer explained. “It’s a way for the broader public to be able to see the film. Both versions are suitable for the public, but of course when you go very explicit you will squeeze the possibilities of distribution.”
Before you panic about missing out though, Vesth confirmed that the shorter version will still be explicit: “There is a lot of nudity and sex in the short version,” she said, claiming that the short version is also likely to receive an NC-17 rating in the US.
Vesth also spoke of the reasoning behind Von Trier not being involved in the shorter cut, saying its for artistic purposes: “For him it was important not to be confused,” Vesth said. “It was important to have a clear vision of one of the versions… We are not sending out anything that he would not agree on.”
The uncut version, which will run for five and a half hours, will be released later next year in a two and a half hour and three hour film. “We decided the short version would go into distribution first so we can send the same film out to the whole world and then, after that, we will prepare the long version for distribution,” Vesth said. “We don’t know how and where that one will be distributed. It will be later in 2014.”
Nymphomaniac is written and directed by Lars Von Trier.
The cast includes Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr, Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Connie Nielson, Jamie Bell, Udo Kier, Christian Slater,Caroline Goodall, Kate Ashfield, Saskia Reeves, Stacy Martin, Uma Thurman and Omar Shargawi. Von Trier regular Charlotte Gainsbourg will be playing the lead character of ‘nymphomaniac’ Joe as an adult, while model Stacy Martin will play the younger role of the character.
Nymphomaniac will be told over eight chapters by self-confessed nymphomaniac Joe. The film will be spread across two parts, and a “hardcore” version, and a softer more audience friendly version will be made available. The eight chapters for the film are as follows:
Chapter 1: The Complete Angler
Chapter Two: Jerome
Chapter 3: Mrs. H
Chapter 4: Delirium
Chapter 5: The Little Organ School
Chapter 6: The Eastern & Western Church (The Silent Duck)
Chapter 7: The Mirror
Chapter 8: The Gun
“NYMPHOMANIAC is the light 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 Seligman, an old bachelor, finds Joe semi-unconscious and beaten up in an alleyway. After bringing her to his flat he sees to her wounds while trying to understand how things could have gone so wrong for her. He listens intently as she over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-out and multi faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.