Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Is Five Hours Long, May Continue On TV


Get ready to see a lot of Charlotte Gainsbourg, and I mean a lot of her. The Anglo-French actress’s latest role, as the titular sex addict in controversial director Lars Von Trier’s latest effort Nymphomaniac, will last for a full five hours, according to Norwegian film site Montages.

Nymphomaniac will be split into two different two-and-a-half hour-long films that will be released simultaneously in theaters. And if that epic sprawl of a running time doesn’t seem like enough from Von Trier already, we may also be seeing a television spin-off series exploring the sexual escapades of protagonist Joe, as the idea of expanding the film to include a series is “still in the cards,” the site reports.

The films will chart the sexual experiences of a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, as told to a man (Stellan Skarsgård) who nurses her back to health after finding her badly beaten in an alley. Told mostly in flashbacks, Nymphomaniac will follow Joe’s story from her birth in the 1960s to age 50 in the present day.

Peter Aalbæk Jensen, producer and CEO of Zentropa Entertainments, reported earlier this year that the making of Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac had included “268 script pages, 11 weeks of shooting and with 100 hours of material,” so news that the director doesn’t want to leave almost all of it on the cutting room floor makes sense. How the incredibly explicit film will find its way to television remains to be seen, however, and a Nymphomaniac series would certainly be an odd acquisition for any network.

According to Montages, the first half of the film is much closer to “pure comedy” than Von Trier’s last two films, Antichrist and Melancholia, more reminiscent of The Idiots and The Boss of It All. However, Nymphomaniac will get progressively darker as the story spirals into darkness and tragedy.

Montages also reports that:

Nymphomaniac consists of eight chapters. Each part has its own stylistic approach, dictated by content and tone. Some parts have a relatively ordinary formal language, but others are more experimental. One of the chapters is shot in black-and-white. The film is shot in Cinemascope, except for one chapter in 1.85:1.

Nymphomaniac does not yet have an American distribution date, though the film is set to premiere at Christmas over in Denmark.

We’ll be bringing you more coverage of this ambitious film as plans for its release in the US are finalized. Are you interested in seeing what Von Trier has accomplished with this absolutely massive two-part sexual epic, or does Nymphomaniac‘s uncomfortable subject matter repel rather than entice you? Sound off in the comments section!