Read the Opening Title Card for Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac,’ Which Version Will We See?
It’s certainly something when a film sans teaser, trailer, poster, or really much of anything to go on, continues to make headlines daily. But after all, people love sex and people love to hate and hate to love the painful genius of Lars von Trier—so it’s really no wonder that his upcoming "masterpiece", Nymphomaniac, is generating such sparking up so many conversations just in anticipation.
But it’s not only the sex that’s selling the film. Earlier this week, we reported that Magnolia had acquired the domestic rights to the picture for a VOD release, which raises its own discussion about the nature of independent distribution and where Hollywood is headed in terms of accessibility. But it also begs the question: which film will we end up seeing? Apparently, two versions of Nymphomaniac have been shot—one soft core using its actors (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, etc) with the sexually explicit images blurred and then another hardcore version with porn actors that will show actual penetration.
According to Devin Faravi at Badass Digest, he contacted Magnoia’s publicist who said they have bought "ALL rights to the film"—meaning both versions. In the same article he also posted the opening title card from the first page of the Nymphomaniac script, which reads:
"Text on black background: “Although the director on principle is of the opinion
that you should be able to show everything, he accepts, under protest, that this
will not be possible here. He will therefore stay within the limits of the law and
occasionally use blurred images."
This is definitely a massive amount of work for a director and film crew to take on simply to be considerate of their viewers. Lars is not trying to alienate anyone with his boundary-pushing material this time around but tweak his intentions to be open to all audiences that wish to see it. Also, the film would obviously screen nowhere if it was only the hardcore version. However, does it really make that big of a difference? We all know what sex looks like, just because an image is blurred doesn’t mean it isn’t as erotic or tantalizing as seeing the real thing. There are far more sexually stimulating images than most porn. But whatever. Faraci also made the case that he tends to, "err on the side of wanting to see a movie as it’s intended to be seen by the filmmaker. von Trier is a bit of a button-pusher, and I think he’s pushing lots of buttons with this, but I also think he’s smart and talented and pushes buttons in his movies when he’s making a point. This isn’t like his Nazi joke at a Cannes press conference; this is a calculated move. I’d prefer to see the movie he wanted to make. "
Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be a some new development tomorrow on the topic just in line for Valentine’s Day.