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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Cinecast Episode 346 – …And then Christian Slater Shat Himself


Kurt Halfyard boards a plane to Minneapolis specifically to talk face-to-face with Andrew about his two favorite things: his Doppelgänger, Russell Crowe and The Bible. Sex is everywhere with Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (vol 1). We skip 1984 this week but will be back next with Purple Rain and Part II of the sex movie. Fifteen years have passed, yet we still love to talk about the mind blowing nature of The Matrix. And we cap it off with Noah’s double bill, Snowpiercer (sorry about the *MILD SPOILERS* on a film that has not played domestically yet – Kurt gets a bit carried away – but really what is said in this episode does not dent the number of turns/revelations in the film, which we suppose, is itself a spoiler…)

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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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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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Talking Lars Von Trier on The Director’s Club Podcast

With the Cinecast on break for this week, you can get a bit of your Rowthree podcasting fix by heading over to The Director’s Club Podcast where yours truly sat in to talk with Jim Laczkowski and Matt Marko about all things Lars Von Trier. The focus is mainly on his stylistic Europa (aka Zentropa) and his spiritual masterpiece, Breaking The Waves, but the entire gamut, from feature films, TV projects and screenplays are covered. Also, an extended conversation on how not to watch Spielberg’s E.T., some chat about Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, and a little more love for Oliver Stone’s Savages.

The Director’s Club Podcast: Episode 38

Cinecast Episode 236 – Ocular Coitus

While our friend Matt Gamble is still on the mend (not from a boating accident), Kurt and Andrew grew a bit tired of executing these shows together all alone and reached towards the heavens above for this episodes guest host: Aaron Hartung (aka the dude who lives upstairs). Aaron also happens to work for the best cinema chain in town, Landmark Theaters; not only does he seem to know his movie stuff, he’s got a voice for radio to boot.

We missed last week’s episode due to other obligations and illness, there is a LOT to get to this week. From Lars von Trier’s visually rich disaster/depression epic to the long awaited new Alexander Payne film (it has indeed been six years) we cover your auteur cinema-making-guys. But wait, there’s more: Fifties sex icons, furry-little-singing-nostalgia-engines(tm) and a whole lot of early cinema history enshrined in a Martin Scorsese ‘kids film.’ Enjoy this double-digest episode of the show: It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to talk death, depression and the urgent need for knowing our history on the Cinecast tonight.

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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Full show notes are under the seats…
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Review: Breaking the Waves (1996)

With 1996’s Breaking the Waves, Lars von Trier made his first proper venture into the territories of female martyrdom and suffering that he would become so well known for. It features one of his most memorable characters: Bess McNeill (Emily Watson in a one-of-a-kind performance), a child-like young woman who lives with her mother (Sandra Voe) and sister Dorothy (Katrin Cartlidge) in an isolated coastal community in Scotland. At the start of the film, she gets married to Jan (Stellan Skarsgård), who works on an offshore oilrig. Their early days together are happy ones, but he soon returns to the rig to continue his work, plunging the fiercely affectionate Bess into sadness. Then disaster strikes when an accident leaves Jan paralyzed. After a period of slow healing and depression, he makes an unusual request of her: Bess is to pursue sexual encounters with other men and tell him about them as a sad substitute for the moments of carnal bliss they once shared together. With difficulty, Bess complies, leading to tragic consequences in her relationships with Jan, her family, the town and God.
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Review: Europa (1991)

Being the third and final film in Lars von Trier’s Europa trilogy, Europa occupies quite a pivotal place in the Danish director’s career. At the time, it was his most thematically and stylistically ambitious achievement, escalating his ongoing study of European society to impressive new heights. At the Cannes Film Festival, it received no fewer than three awards, including one for “Special Artistic Contribution” – yet this didn’t keep von Trier from playing the sore loser when he didn’t get the Palme d’Or by calling Jury president Roman Polanski a midget. As if in response to this “loss,” von Trier then embarked on a new stage in his work, adopting the rougher, more emotionally lacerating approach seen in films like Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Dogville (2003) that he is perhaps best known for. This drastic shift makes Europa all the more fascinating as an exhilaratingly bold flirtation with large-scale filmmaking and outright spectacle.

Jean-Marc Barr stars as Leopold Kessler, a naïve American who goes to Germany shortly after the end of World War II to work as a sleeping car conductor. Accompanied by his German uncle (Ernst-Hugo Järegård), he begins to socialize with the Hartmann family who run the Zentropa railway line. He becomes romantically involved with Katharina (Barbara Sukowa), daughter of the company’s owner, Max Hartmann (Jørgen Reenberg), while facing pressure from both an American colonel (Eddie Constantine) and the branch of Nazi supporters known as the Werewolves to aid their respective sides. Eventually, the non-committal Kessler is pushed to finally decide where his loyalties truly lie.
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