Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is a sexual romp of a film analyzing a girl’s life beginning from her sexual awakening to her formative, senior years. You’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the posters, and you’ve seen the clips. However, what hasn’t been exactly clear over the past few months is the exact nature of the final cut for the film. Considering its very racy and sexual content, von Trier’s had to face various edits, ratings snafus, and all sorts of other dilemmas to ensure Nymphomaniac has a proper release. Finally, the shape of the film’s final release has been cemented.
von Trier’s vision for Nymphomaniac is a roughly five-hour, two-part film that puts the real human drama into the spotlight as much as the very graphic, gratuitous sex scenes. Of course, the hurdles involving decency and censorship prevent von Trier from releasing his own cut of the film. Instead, it’s been previously reported that the film will be edited to a softer two-part, four hour film upon its release in Denmark next month. There were rumors that this cut went against von Trier’s wishes, but in fact, that’s far from the truth.
Rather than having to make various edits to appease distributors all across the world, von Trier has given the blessing to his Melancholia editor Molly Malene Stensgaard for the softer edit. The full, “director’s cut” of the film will probably find distribution via home media. Producer Louise Vesth summed up the process in an interview with Screen Daily, stating:
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.
Long story short, if you’re excited for the full penetration of Nymphomaniac, you might have to wait awhile until the “true” version of the film is released. If you’re okay with a softer, NC-17 edit, the four hour version will suit your needs… heheheh.