Nymphomaniac is surprisingly interesting in two ways. The distribution model, while not new, has been tweaked slightly to serialize an otherwise lengthy and dense film into two parts, making them both available in short succession through various video on demand services. The first was released Thursday and the second will be available in two weeks’ time. The films themselves are further broken into 8 chapters that weave together to depict the sexual awakening of a young everywoman, appropriately named Joe. These chapters are interrupted, and to great effect, narrated by a conversation between an adult version of Joe and her muse, a kindly older man, also appropriately name, Seligman.
It’s here that Von Trier nearly breaks the fourth wall, communicating with the audience via Seligman’s academic musings on Joe’s experience, often responding directly to the audience’s reactions to her story, and by extension, our thoughts on the film.
Using this method, Von Trier has given us his doctoral thesis on the subject of human sexuality conducting a socratic discussion with his audience. One in which sex, of all kinds, relates to and infiltrates all aspects of the human experience. The various ways we dissect and understand the world, including physics, mathematics, music, mysticism, and psychiatry, are used to examine Joe’s personal experience with her own sexuality and it’s [at times] devastating effects on herself and the people around her.
(Source: csabaklement, via csabaklement)