If It's Sunday, The Washington Post Is Promoting the Movie 'Nymphomaniac'

Quite typically for a Sunday, the day of our Lord, The Washington Post is promoting the most unholy item it can find. In this case, the Sunday Style section is promoting the new movie "Nymphomaniac" by Danish director Lars Van Trier. None of his movies have ever grossed more than $6 million in America, but they must like the title.

They interviewed actress (and singer) Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays the nympho in the title, and the scene descriptions are explicit, like when her character Joe "performs oral sex on a man as an act of charity after destroying his life that Gainsbourg found difficult to embrace."

“She’s proud of it,” Gainsbourg exclaims bewilderedly of the act. “It was a prosthetic [acting!], but still there was something humiliating about being shot that close. . . . It’s so intimate; there’s something very disturbing.”

Throughout shooting she tried to make sense of her conflicting feelings of trepidation and intrigue. “I wanted to be there and do those scenes. It’s quite chaotic in your mind because you don’t understand why you want to do this while understanding that everything is . . . not dangerous, but a bit nerve-racking.”


Gainesbourg also starred in the director's 2009 gorefest "Antichrist" with Willem Dafoe. Here's the plot from Brent Bozell's column:

A couple is mourning the loss of a child. They go to an isolated cabin, the mother loses her mind and goes postal on her husband, and herself. Pressed by journalists about his film, von Trier claimed his movies choose him, not the other way around. "I never have a choice," he said. "It's the hand of God, I'm afraid." He added, "I am the best film director in the world."

Journalists don’t agree. "I thought I had my head down a lavatory, frankly," said Baz Bamigboye of London's Daily Mail, one writer who demanded that von Trier attempt to justify his sick movie. The Hollywood Reporter called it "torture porn."

Brian Johnson, a critic for the Canadian news magazine Macleans, gave his readers a bitter taste: "This is the first film in which I’ve seen an erect penis ejaculate blood after its owner is genitally assaulted while having sex. And that’s just the start. This is not your daddy’s chain-saw massacre movie. In this case, the weapon of choice is a carpentry hand-drill. That’s right, the old-fashioned kind that kind of works like a butter churn. In a moment of inspiration, [the wife] employs this device to bore a hole in her husband’s leg, then uses a wrench to bolt a grindstone to it. And while we’re racking up precedents, it’s probably safe to say that until now we’ve never seen a woman perform a clitorectomy on herself with a pair of scissors."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis