The first volume in von Trier's series about a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac
Nymphomaniac Vol. 1Landmark Sunshine Cinema (143 East Houston Street, New York, NY) Map it $14
From his outlandish comments to his profound fear of flying, Danish filmmaker and Dogme95 founder Lars von Trier is one of the most eccentric filmmakers operating today. Nymphomaniac, the follow-up to his apocalyptic drama Melancholia, is a film that has been shrouded in controversy since von Trier first mentioned it back in 2011. Broken up into two volumes, the film is the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a woman who at the opening of Vol. 1 is found beaten and laying in an alleyway by a man named Seligman. He takes her in and the two begin discussing her storied past in relation to Seligman’s favorite pastime, fly fishing. A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, for Vol. 1, Joe recounts episodes of her life, from her first memories of fondling herself through a sexual encounter with the first man she thought she may have been in love with. Sure, there are graphic scenes, but the crux of this film are its characters, specifically Joe, who grapples with her sexual appetite and emotional detachment. Charlotte Gainsbourg assumes the role of storyteller in Vol. 1 with Stacy Martin playing the young Joe. Filling out the cast are Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, and Stellan Skarsgård, who plays the attentive listener and fly fisherman, Seligman.