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Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ Gets Erotic, Life-Spanning Plot Synopsis

Written by on February 8, 2012 

Due in large part to an influx of comments from the director and his stars, we know pretty a good amount about The Nymphomaniac some 15 months before it’s bound to hit Cannes. The latest round of information comes in the form of a handy plot synopsis, which has emerged from this week’s European Film Market (via Twitch). Read it below:

“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.”

Charlotte Gainsbourg has the part of Joe, while Stellan Skarsgård will more than likely appear as Seligman. He will not get to f-ck.

You know who will get to copulate? Porn actors. As Gainsbourg told The Guardian (via ThePlaylist), von Trier will be using people of that sort for “those [explicit] shots”; she and her co-stars will “do the rest,” or, that is, work up to a certain point. She doesn’t really know what said point is, but a good point of reference can be found in a certain moment on the Antichrist set (which I will not recount, but you should definitely read) where she refused to move forward, thus requiring a double. On Nymphomaniac, the actress hopes to “see what my limit is.” (This, by the way, also correlates directly with his plans to release a hardcore and softcore version of the film when the time arrives.)

Interesting to note that von Trier‘s taking a certain narrative path that he hasn’t employed thus far: flashbacks. Although I don’t see this having a huge impact on the way The Nymphomaniac plays out — Lars has tried so many different conceits in his career, and his movies are still his movies, at the end of the day — but it’s honestly the only impression I can get from this. Don’t get me wrong; I really, really want to see what comes of Nymphomaniac. I just don’t want to know too much about it before, well… going in about two years from now.

Any impressions from this synopsis? Does it change your perception of The Nymphomaniac?

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