Geeky Cinephile Musings…
I don't pontificate, I blather.

Part One

Welly, welly, welly my little droogies! I’m baaaa-aaaaaaaack!!

So what brings me out of hiding?

Well, I must tell you firstly that the reason I’ve not written anything in a while is that we have just picked up and moved our entire family (i.e. Hubby, wife, two cats, a succulent, and a massive DVD collection) from Los Angeles, CA back to my home state of North Carolina. The good news: there are once again four distinct seasons in my life, the biscuits are amazing, and the people are laid-back and friendly. The bad news: I’m a bit distraught at not having the type of cinematic offerings here that Los Angeles provides.

So what DOES bring me to the laptop once again?

You haven’t guessed yet?

Oh, just a little thing called NYMPHOMANIAC, aka the newest Lars Von Trier film. I’ve just come from watching Volume One (We watched it a couple of days ago, and I’m desperate to keep my memory intact, so I’m writing this in a bit of a hurry), and I think it would be interesting to write this blog in two parts, just like the film. That way, if I make a prediction or something, I can either publicly humiliate myself or publicly pat myself on the back at my cinematographic brilliance!

So! Let’s delve in, shall we!?

First things first—this man is a GOD when it comes to capturing me from the moment the film commences. Every time I watch a Von Trier film, I am reduced to dumbstruck awe within, oh, say 5 seconds. I wasn’t really in the mood to watch Vol. 1, because I was worried it might be too heavy for a Monday night. But my delicious friend, Bill, my encyclopedic film-lover, texted me and informed me that I could order both volumes on Amazon for about 10 bucks a piece, and he was anxious to hear my thoughts in a blog form. (Thanks for the support, Bill-ness!! Turns out, they were only 6.99 each! Score!) So I couldn’t resist. It has, quite frankly, indeed been long enough. The only reason I did not see these films in the theater was that whole pesky, cross-country move and subsequent job search (what, you thought I supported myself on this?).

So back to the beginning of Part I: we have, yet again, an assault on the senses prior to the story beginning. This is becoming a Von Trier special, and I looooooove every minute of it.  Initially the screen is black. And it stays black for a good thirty to forty seconds (I should have tracked the time!!). So you’re forced to blindly sit and only listen to what is happening “around” you.  It goes on interminably, but it makes you absolutely tingly all over.  Eventually the shot opens, and you find yourself staring at a brick wall. And we have another Von Trier hat-trick: a night-time scene with the snow falling, just as we had in Antichrist and Melancholia. But the big difference here is that, rather than using string music as a soundtrack, we have street music: the soft plop of rain as it traverses a wall, the hiss of tires on wet pavement as they approach and recede. The film lingers on this image for so long that I started to feel a bit dizzy (truth be told, I was dizzy from the blackness already) and…decidedly  sensual. That is what this man can do to me with his films, and this is why I adore him so much—he completely taps into the deeply romantic side of me. I mention in my piece on Melancholia that I am decidedly melancholic myself, in the natural, romantic sense (don’t know what the hell I’m on about? Follow the link and read the danged blog.), and I feel like this fixation on these types of daily minutiae–making them large and overwhelming to the point that you swoon a bit at the beauty, is a manifestation of what it’s like to be melancholic. There is a distinct, earthly sensuality in listening to and watching raindrops running down a dirty brick wall. As you begin to absorb your surroundings, you feel every single pulse of the earth, and every pulse feels absolutely delicious.

Leading into nymphomania?

That’s the funny thing—no.  No, I don’t think so. Melancholia featured a character, Justine, that Von Trier largely based on himself (he said as much—that’s not me making shit up). But the lead character, in Nymphomania, Joe, seems to be the complete antithesis of Von Trier.  Rather than exquisitely feeling her environment, to me she exhibits signs that she may be a sociopath—she toys with human emotions and seems completely and utterly unfeeling of all around her. I know she states that she “falls in love” with Jerome, (and how fitting that once she gets him and fucks his brains out she suddenly cries out, “I can’t FEEL ANYTHING!!!!”) but that, and her relationship to her father, is the only sign that she is human herself. It could be the way Martin plays her (Paul remarked that watching her was like watching a heroin addict talk…which makes me wonder about Paul…)—she’s stoic and neutral-faced for most of the film.

Another interesting conclusion I’ve come to so far (keep in mind, Vol. II could make me look like a moron) is that something really shitty is going to happen to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). He’s being entirely too trusting of Joe (adult Joe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, who I could listen to all day, with her scrumptious accent mix of French and upper-crust English—what a blessing that she is the story teller!!). She keeps telling him she’s a terrible person, and he keeps reassuring her that she’s not. He’s comparing her nymphomania to fly fishing and Bach, and although she warms a teensy bit to the Bach comparison, when it comes to him excitedly drawing parallels between her fucking men on a train for sweets as a young girl and him casting a line in a river, you can tell by her expression that she is less than fascinated. I feel like he is being made to be a fool, and things will not go well for him if he continues trying to rationalize her into a human being.

I would comment on Shia La Beouf and Christian Slater’s performances, but I do not feel that they really contribute anything to the film. Uma Thurman’s cameo is wonderful—I feel she is entirely underrated as a dramatic actress. Stacy Martin is a stunning girl, and also a lovely actress, and I can already see her IMDB page filling up with new films.  I guess they figure if she’ll give blow jobs…

Oh!! That was soooooo uncalled for!!!

At any rate, I look forward to seeing MORE of her…

Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ll stop.

Next up…Part…DEUX!!!

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One Response to “Part One”

  1. […] So don’t bug me about it.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to first click on this little link right here and read.  Then come back.  Bye, bye […]


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