March 16, 2014

Nymphomaniac: Vol. I and II (2013)

Nymphomaniac - Vol. I and II (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Lars Von Trier
Country: Demnark / others

Movie Review: Polemic filmmaker Lars Von Trier needed two parts of almost two hours each, and eight chapters, to tell the story of Joe, a self entitled nymphomaniac who recalls the most important details of her life in the presence of Seligman, a literate man who found her beaten up on an alley. Always provocative, as “Breaking the Waves” and “The Idiots” once were, “Nymphomaniac” mixes meditative observations of every kind – personal, social, artistic, religious – with explicit and incisive sexual moments whose occasional aggressiveness and psychological intrigue maintain the experience unique. The involving complexity showed in Joe’s behavior, her fearless risky games, fierce impulses, and constant demand for new sensations, put her in the limits of pleasure and suffering. Joe’s narrative touches in crucial points such as childhood and adolescence, loss of virginity, her love for Jerome with whom she had a son, obsession for sex, uncomfortable situations involving a married man and his family, the peculiar relationship with her loving dad and contempt of her mother, the ineffectiveness of group therapy, and final disillusions when she met a younger woman. Charlotte Gainsbourg became a natural choice for von Trier after the notable impressions left in “Antichrist” and “Melancholia”. Demanding some effort from the viewers, “Nymphomaniac” is aggressive, raw and deliberately explicit, but also philosophical in its analysis (human and artistic) and grievous in its finale. It’s a relentless study of an obsessive woman who desperately needs some humanity and compassion. Smiles and disturbance are guaranteed for the ones who see it with an open mind.

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