I didn't give up on this, I've just been super busy lately. Working on a novel and planning on moving back to the East Coast, so not as much time for blogging. After I finish up this and the Assassin's Creed list I will probably give it a rest for a while. I do kinda want to write an article about how awful it is living with Hare Krishnas and how I wish Californians would be less passive-aggressive and indignant all the time, but I feel I always get flak for being too negative, so probably best to leave that one by the wayside.
By far the weirdest movie I saw all year, stranger even than Noah, stone giants and all. But Lars Von Trier is always weird, so this was nothing to be surprised by; really, it’s why I wanted to see the movie in the first place. Well… that and sex. Mostly the sex. I like sex. A lot. It’s a topic that fascinates me, and I’m drawn to movies that explore sex and sexuality in interesting ways.
Von Trier is known for putting sex under the microscope, but like all male filmmakers, this can get tricky when dealing with female sexuality. While not outright hated by critics, the film was divisive among the Jezebel/rich white lady feminist types as its plot focuses on a woman with a long and torrid sexual history, the titular nymphomaniac, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. For most of the movie she is pursuing pleasure not love, and the film includes actual sexual penetration and all sorts of other taboo shit, including a scene in which two African men argue in their native tongue over who gets which of Gainsbourg’s orifices.
So the sexual politics are a bit shaky, but the film operates in a heightened reality and covers a lot of thematic ground, so I wouldn’t really call it misogynistic. Gainsbourg’s Joe is a strong, nuanced character that is always fascinating to watch, though Part I is considerably more engaging than Part II, which finds Joe working as a dominatrix torturer for criminal underlords… it gets a little too out there by the end, even by Von Trier’s standards. (more...)