Originally made as a single, long film, Nymph()maniac has Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) telling the story of her life to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). She is a nymphomaniac, telling the story of her sexual adventures in chapters to this man. It did raise the question for me – why? Seligman found her injured in an alley and when she refused an ambulance, takes her home and she tells him this sexy story. And when I say sexy, it’s really a tragic story of a woman who has sexual urges that almost stop her from living her life.
Like many Lars von Trier films, it’s a hard watch. The characters are generally quite appealing although in this case, at least they are also quite self-aware. Despite the amount of sex in the film, it is actually a pretty unsexy film – perhaps because the audience is being told by Joe that she should be judged, yet we don’t want to judge her, but at the same time, it is almost impossible to not judge her. The films are part of the Trio of Depression (along with the wonderful Melancholia and Antichrist, which I’ve not yet seen). Possibly more interesting that the film itself are some of the methods they used to film it, including having body doubles having actual sex and using special effects to make it all work together. And all kinds of prosthetics.