Without a wealth of knowledge on the project—save a brief synopsis and some photos of the cast looking appropriately somber—the follow up to Lars von Trier’s end of the world ballet Melancholia, the psycho-erotic drama Nymphomaniac, has topped my list of anticipated films for the next year. And today we’re given a first look, albiet slight. The still from the film features von Trier muse Charlotte Gainsbourg lying helpless, injured after being attacked in a snowy back alley. Nymphomaniac focuses on her character and unfolds in eight chapters, as Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Stacy Martin, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Udo Kier and Jean-Marc Barr rotate in and out of the picture.
In an interview for Melancholia, Lars spoke about working on his next project and the influence of beginning to read again:
It’s an interesting point why the hell films have to be so stupid! Why do all lines have to be about something? A plot. when books have a red thread, they only brush it momentarily….Whereas a film is completely tied to the plot. Even a Tarkovsky film has nowhere near the same depth as a novel. It could be fun to take some of the novel’s qualities—even that they talk nineteen to the dozen, which is what I like in Dostoyevsky—and include that.
It’s interesting to think how this would factor into his own writing, translating his next film into something even more powerful. Moving onto talking directly about Nymphomaniac or his second title option, Shit in the Bedsore, he went onto say that, "But it’s no fun if they’re just humping away all the time…then it’ll just be a porn flick."
To go a little more in depth, Nymphomaniac is a "wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to age 50 as told my the main character." Gainsbourg plays Joe, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac whon, on a cold winter’s evening, meets the old, charming bachelor Seligman (played by Skarsgard). After finding Joe in an alley, Seligman brings her home where he "cares for her wounds while asking her about her life." As he listens, the eight chapters unfold as she recounts the "lushly branched-out and multi-faceted story of her life, rich in associations, and interjecting incidents.