Cinecast Episode 347 – Two Princes

Part II is here. We talked Vol I of Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac last week, we finish that conversation this week in all its glorious whippiness and lack of Udo Kier. Then 1984 is continued with Prince and The Revolution, not Lake Minnetonka, Clarence Williams III, First Avenue and laughing in the Purple Rain. But we’re still on a weekend hangover from the Frabramble wedding party so we keep it short with no Watch List. But next week will get crazy with Game of Thrones starting up and also Andrew hitting M-SPIFF.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!



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Review: Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II

Nymphomaniac Volume I & II
At first glance, much of Lars von Trier’s work seems disrespectful, antagonistic, self-aggrandizing, and unapologetically brutish. His latest piece,
Nymphomaniac, the nearly 5-hour-long story of a self-professed nymphomaniac, certainly felt this way prior to its release. Proclaiming the film to be hardcore pornography, calling out the public and media alike for their prudish reception of his concept, and generally baiting the entire cinematic community, it’s been a long road to Nymphomaniac’s two lengthy volumes. Going into the film, you anticipate relentless sex and little else. You almost resign yourself to no plot or point other than to force the public to get over its preconceived notions of sex. What we’re left with, however, is far more compelling.

What lies beneath the surface of Nymphomaniac is an accessible and seemingly honest portrayal of the type of person often perceived as little more than a deviant in society’s eyes. Here we find Trier’s two voices – his learned, rational self debating the nature of humanity and humility with his angry, impassioned, animalistic side – facing off in a kind of battle to save the soul of the so-called afflicted Joe. We’re shown the portrait of a woman who played carelessly with lust as a young adult, blossomed into a woman, and found herself taking ownership of her compulsion. In spite of the overall positive intention of Volume I, and the eye-opening, soul-crushing Volume II, the final message fits into Trier’s canon as antagonistic … with a point.

The story begins with Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) being found, beaten and filthy in a dark alley, by a man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). Urging the wounded woman to call the police, he’s left with no choice but to nurse her himself when she refuses. Carrying her back to his lonely apartment, he changes her clothes, and lays her in bed. Once awake and alert, Joe rambles on about being a horrible person, attempting to convince the kindly Seligman that he should have left her there. Eventually, Joe finds herself defending her self-proclaimed villainy, and begins to tell her life’s story in an attempt to convince her saviour. Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Nymphomaniac

“Would it be all right if I show the children the whoring bed?”

Here we go with the first trailer for Lars von Trier’s new film that is sure to be talked about steadily until its festival and commercial release. I’ll let the trailer, which is most assuredly *NSFW* speak for itself, there is a lot to unpack in terms of just how many buttons Trier is pushing in terms of voyeurism, sex, violence and the patience of his eventual film censors across the globe. Either way, have at it folks. The trailer is tucked under the seat.

A wild and poetic story of a woman’s journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). On a cold winter’s evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman (Stellen Skarsgård), finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat where he cares for her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushy branched-out and multifaceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

“Most people don’t scream until I hit them…”

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Friday One Sheet: Nymphomaniac Up Close

Even though this is just actually a ‘zoom-in’ of one of the previously release set of posters with each character in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac giving their ‘O’ face, I cannot help but think that this image of Charlotte Gainsbourg in an extreme state echoes Naomi Watts in a radically different extreme state in the one-sheet for Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. It is just different enough to feel like a cheap knock-off as seen here.

Screenshots of Lust II: Lust Harder

The highly popular Screenshots of Lust, Part 1, can be viewed here. This latest batch continues the effort to capture moments of lust in cinema without resorting to the outright pornographic. It is admittedly Romy Schneider heavy – what can I say, she was perfectly cast as the object of desire and obsession in Clouzot’s L’Enfer. As always I would like a full report of the images that I missed. Enjoy.

Romy Schneider in Choses de la Vie
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So Called “Oscar Season” at The End of a Decade

Well, it’s here: not just the final two months of 2009, but the end of another decade. Not that these films are necessarily Oscar contenders, but November and December are notorious for launching all the high profile, “good” movies of the year. While we’ve seen some great stuff over the past 10 months, here is a smattering of pictures being released wide in the final two months of the decade that we’re really looking forward to and anticipate much critical love for; including making several top ten lists. Sure there are more than just these titles that are anticipated, and we’d love you to mention them in the comment section, but there are enough here to keep you busy and these are probably the “must sees” for these final 60 days of the year…



Lars Von Trier
RowThree review
The more I think about this film and the more times I see the trailer the more and more I absolutely love it and little by little it keeps climbing notches on my ten best of the year list. If Charlotte Gainsbourg isn’t nominated for a best actress statue then there is positively no justice in the world. Obviously not for everyone as the film is fantastically brutal and psychologically traumatic. But it is also gorgeous in every way a film can be gorgeous before punching you in the face with tennis racket made of lead.

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Antichrist One-Sheet For Fantastic Fest

While we burned ourselves out at TIFF and aren’t able to cover much from Fantastic Fest this year, we were still lucky enough to catch Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist (our review) on opening night back in early September. Fantastic Fest has pulled out all the stops for the film however and had their own poster for the film created specifically for their festival. I must say, artist David D’Andrea has done a bang-up job with this one.

Here’s a film not to be missed if you’re man enough to stomach it. It’s beauty and brutality all rolled into a psychological mind-bash. It’s very unforgiving yet spectacular. I think this poster showcases its darkness rather well…


Another Round of Antichrist

The name Lars von Trier is on everyone’s lips. The buzz started generating at Cannes but it seems as though TIFF has really blown the top on this film and if the poster, the first trailer and Kurt’s review aren’t enough to convince you that this is the film to see this year, this trailer may not help.

For the rest of us, here’s a little more of von Trier’s horror, a film so disturbing it left me shaking and unable to sleep. Will I see it again? Not anytime soon but maybe in a few years when my little heart has turned into stone and I need to feel something again; even if that something is pain.

Cinecast Episode 137 – Wall to Wall Pubic Hair

Episode 137:
Jumping in to give us the female perspective about the latest batch of horror films is short film maker and writer for Killer Film, Miss Serena Whitney. We also get a TIFF-preview with Lars Von Trier’s latest, Antichrist. Strange things are afoot at The Bloor Cinema in Toronto when Udo Kier comes to town. Plus a bitch session about 3D technology, short reviews of Paul Giamatti in Cold Souls and Emille Hirsch in Taking Woodstock.

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The Antichrist Has Arrived

Lars von Trier is not my cup of tea. I’ve only seen a couple of his films but it was enough to know that his themes were a bit harsh for me and hearing people talk about Dancer in the Dark and Dogville never encouraged further viewing but that may all have changed in one trailer.

When a still for von Trier’s new film Antichrist was released a few weeks ago, the web went a bit crazy. I couldn’t quite see why (aside from the fact that it’s damned creepy) since I’ve always thought of von Trier as a director who pushes the envelope, but the image did get my attention. Now that I’ve seen the trailer, I want to know when we can expect a North American release.

To put it quite bluntly, this trailer is awesome. It’s beautiful, dreamlike, gorgeous and equally scary, creepy and down right disturbing. Is von Trier playing at horror? Maybe some of his previous films are too but none of the trailers I’ve seen have suggested any of them are true “horror” films but this one certainly does. The official synopsis explains that a couple, played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, retreat to a cabin in the woods in an effort to save their troubled marriage but things turn sour when nature “takes it course”. So basically, this is the movie that takes the nature attacks theme of The Happening (our review) and goes full blown horror? Sure looks like it.

Thanks to The Auteurs for the heads up on the wicked trailer.