Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 by Russ Fischer
As with nearly everything relating to the new Lars von Trier movie, Nymphomaniac, there’s always a degree of genuine storytelling, and a certain amount of savvy promotional spin. You don’t make a two-part film that is sexually explicit to the point of being hardcore without angling for a degree of prurient attention based solely on the fact that the film might show some famous peoples’ junk. (See the very not safe for work trailer for a tease on that front.)
The big conversation of late has been in what form most of us will see Nymphomaniac. While Trier’s own cut is said to clock in at well over five hours, when the project hits screens in Denmark this Christmas it will be neatly trimmed into a two-part, four-hour affair. The naughty stuff will all be on display, with local distributors given the option to optically blur elements, or not, as they see fit.
Now we’ve got a bit more info about when we’ll see Trier’s cut, and just what will be in that extra feature’s worth of footage.
Producer Louise Vesth spoke with Screen Daily, which reports that Trier’s version will be ”more sexually explicit” with “more close-ups of genitals” which pretty much anyone would have guessed. While the original plan was to release the two-part deal in hardcore and softcore versions, this slightly less explicit four-hour cut will now stand in for the softcore version, with the optical censoring option on the table for anyone who wants to be the first to out themselves as a coward with respect to a little sex. There’s still a “lot of nudity and sex in the short version.”
Going into more explicit detail, Vesth said of the distribution plan:
Lars told me he was happy that we could do it this way, for him it was very important that we have a long version for artistic reasons but he understands that we meet the wishes for distribution. It’s in his interest that the film is able to be seen in the different territories.
This was the way to even make the film at all. If we only had one version he would have had to make more compromises and distributors all over the world would have had to censor it themselves because of various censorship practices. It’s a way for the broader public to be able to see the film. Both versions are suitable for the public, but of course when you go very explicit you will squeeze the possibilities of distribution.
While there was a report that the short edit was against Trier’s wishes, Vesth said he worked only on the long one to preserve his own vision and concentration for that part of the project.
There might not be a five and a half-hour theater experience in the future, but the director’s cut of the film will also be released, and will hit in two halves, running 2.5 and 3 hours, respectively. That could end up going only to digital or disc releases. Vesth said, “All the distributors have to decide for themselves how they will put the uncensored one out,” and continued:
We decided the short version would go into distribution first so we can send the same film out to the whole world and then, after that, we will prepare the long version for distribution. We don’t know how and where that one will be distributed. It will be later in 2014.
Magnolia has the film for US distribution.