Friday, July 19, 2019

Nymphomaniac Vol 1 & 2 (2013)


I had been interested in seeing these two films for awhile.  I do like some of Lars von Trier early work  and find him as a director interesting.  I was interested in the the Nymphomaniac series because of the subject matter, and who was in it.  First off the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg does a phenomenal job and she is captivating throughout the two films.  It is her performance that I found to be true, and honest.  Mr Trier does not go for the vulgar.  He shows an individual who is complex and a bit broken.  How she is interacts with others throughout the film is what made me want to continue with the films.  It also shows how Mr Trier and Ms Gainsbourg trusted each other through the production process.  Surely with such a title the film would go into a more exploitative theme, but under the direction of Mr Trier's he involves us (the audience) in the character of Joe. 

We are subjected to many relationships and scenes where Ms Gainsbourg is exposed and through them we feel empathy for her.  She is nude for a lot of the film, and yet I felt the way she played it was empathetic to her character.  Of course I'm sure that this empathy and this de-construction of the character is in no way accidental.  It is Mr Trier who provide Ms Gainsbourg the freedom, and the safety to explore the characters darker persona.

Mr. Lars von Trier has a way with actors.  He gets them to do and and say things within character that we believe, and it makes his films a lot stronger.  The performance is riveting and captivating.  Mr Trier creates a world that is misogynistic and after watching both films I happen to agree with his assessment.  How Mr. Trier does this is by showing us how our main character is treated throughout the film. 

Again it's Ms Gainsbourg's performance that sells the film and she should be applauded in trusting her director not to be exploitative but instead just the opposite.  Maybe some audiences were put off by the length of the film and the sexuality it deals with.  After all even though the film is about a nymphomaniac I never felt that the filmmaker's were exploiting the actresses sexuality.

Both films are an interesting look at what society thinks is sexual.  In the film it isn't sexuality that the filmmaker deals with it is of compulsion, and obsession.

If you're uncomfortable with nudity, or sexual situations taken to extreme then the film is not for you.  The length alone I suspect turns away people.  What the film is is a exploration in the human condition when that human being is different then what we consider normal.

The film made me appreciate the director, and interested me in his other films. such as "Element of the Crime", Dogville", and the most recent "The House that Jack Built".

Check it out if you have time, and watch it in increments if you want.  Viewing the film this way seemed to work for me but I'm sure it's not what the director had intended.  To me it shows the strength of the performance alone by the actress which held me to the end of the film.  Ms Gainsbourg does an exceptional performance here, and is one that sticks with you way after you've finished the film.