“NYMPHOMANIAC” My rating: C(Now available on PPV)
241 minutes | No MPAA rating
You can’t ignore a film by Lars von Trier. No matter how much you might want to.
The guy’s a genius, but a twisted one. He’s a first-class visual artist and a narrative anarchist who presents himself as a cinematic provocateur. (I sometimes view him as a child playing with his own feces.) The beauty often on display in his films must be balanced against the inescapable fact that he’s awesomely misanthropic.
In his last movie, the spectacularly good “Melancholia,” von Trier destroyed our planet and everyone on it…but he did it with such artistic high style that we are seduced nonetheless.
His latest, “Nymphomaniac” (how’s that for a punch-in-the-mouth title?), is a much rockier affair. It’s the story of one woman’s tormented sexual history, complete with nudity, erect penises, and even a few fleeting shots of real sex acts. It’s almost as if von Trier is daring us to keep watching the screen.
Yet the film isn’t the least bit erotic (just another sign of von Trier’s perversity). One leaves this four-hour experience with the feeling that sex is hell.
Of course, in von Trier’s world most everything is hell.
(“Nymphomania” currently is available on Time-Warner on-demand. It’s presented as two 2-hour films, each of which must be purchased separately. Vol. I costs about $7; Vol. II costs nearly $10. In some cities it’s being shown theatrically, but none of Kansas City’s art theaters have it listed as an upcoming attraction.)