Though Lars von Trier stopped giving interviews two years ago, he hasn’t lost his knack for generating press coverage. Last week he got the Internet’s attention (again) for his forthcoming five-hour erotic magnum opus Nymphomaniac with a NSFW clip that was promptly and predictably pulled from YouTube, then less predictably restored with an age-restriction.
This week’s news is that the five-hour film will be released in Denmark and Norway in a two-part version totaling only four hours. The shorter version’s the product of commercial prudence: When a film is this long, and costs this much ($10 million), and features such controversial content (including hardcore sexuality), earning its budget back is going to be an uphill climb. Von Trier’s longtime producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen says the director agreed to the release of this truncated version to help investors begin to recoup their funds. Given previous announcements that the film will exist in both hardcore and softcore cuts, it’s unclear whether this four-hour version will be the former or the latter, or whether there will be three separate versions of the film.
In quasi-related news, one of the film’s stars is 62-year-old Stellan Skarsgård. Like the entire top-billed cast, he was one of those baring all for a poster featuring his character. Is he comfortable with nudity? He’s naked in, of all things, Thor: The Dark World, and at the red carpet premiere of that film he said it wasn’t a problem: “If you’ve seen what I’ve done before you’ll know that I’m naked in half of my films so it wasn’t a big deal. And I was born naked, also!”