Over the past several years Danish auteur Lars Von Trier has been at the forefront of an immense string of controversies. From his outright misogynistic gore fest “Antichrist,” to being deemed a “persona non grata” at the Cannes Film Festival following an interview for his film “Melancholia” in which he said, “What can I say? I understand Hitler,” as well as “Okay, I’m a Nazi.” These statements were later explained to have been made in jest. However, the Cannes Film Festival stuck by its lifetime ban of Von Trier.
In Von Trier’s latest film “Nymphomaniac,” he has ridden a wave of controversy, from festival to festival, around the world. “Nymphomaniac” is the life story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-described nymphomaniac who tells her story about why she became the way she is and how it affects her life.
Depending on where you live, the movie may be in one of several forms. For the U.S. release, the film was split into two volumes that were immensely censored and edited for content due to what has been described as hardcore pornography. At other film festivals, such as the Berlin Film Festival, the whole picture was shown as one long supercut. However, 90 minutes of the film was still cut out for content during the Berlin screening.
Now, however, Variety is reporting that for the upcoming Venice Film Festival, Von Trier’s truest vision will be shown in its entirety as one complete, uncensored film. It’s run time? Five hours and 25 minutes. Included in this cut will apparently be several previously omitted sex scenes, as well as extended versions of already present sex scenes. And, to top it all off, a previously unannounced abortion sequence will be added to the film.
Reviews of the film have been somewhat well-received, regardless of the shocking content, stating that the film is a true and dark look into a sad individual, as well as commending Von Trier for somewhat redeeming his misogynistic language used in “Antichrist” with a very well-written set of female characters.
This is not the first time that Von Trier has shocked people by portraying pornography on the big screen. Since 1998, his company Zentropa has attempted to produce mainstream pornography in films such as “Constance,” “Pink Prison” and “All About Anna.” These films attempted to add a story element to pornography in order to show events from a woman’s point of view. Something that Von Trier has once done again, much more successfully with Nymphomaniac.
It is unknown whether or not the judges in Venice will find something in the five and a half hour cut to earn the coveted “Golden Lion” for best film, but it is clear that the film festival is the most open to date given they will show Von Trier’s latest film in its entirety.