If you're a woman who watches porn, you might already know the name of Lars Von Trier. He's the eccentric Danish filmmaker who is responsible for such mainstream films as the Bjork-flavored "Dancer in the Dark," and "Breaking the Waves." Von Trier's films tend to inspire strong opinions of love or hate with very little in between, and have won some major awards at Cannes, one of the most respected film competitions in the world. So, if you didn't know better, you might not think such a person would create a lot of porn. In fact, Lars Von Trier's mainstream movie studio, Zentropa, became the first mainstream studio to produce hardcore porn with non-simulated sex, made mainly for female audiences.
In 2007, Stern magazine described Von Trier's popularity by saying, "Women too like to see other people having sex. What they don't want is the endless close-ups of hammering body parts without a story. Lars Von Trier is the first to have recognized this and produced valuable, quality pornography for women." (Well said!)
The artistic and commercial success of Von Trier's films has led to widespread acceptance of porn throughout Europe, and helped bring about the legalization of pornography in Norway in 2006. His film "Pink Prison" was ranked No.1 by Cosmopolitan magazine in their 2011 list of best porn movies for women.
Von Trier's new film, "Nymphomaniac," isn't porn. Or maybe it's art house porn. Either way, it's making a splash long before release. Why? Its poster campaign features major movie stars like Uma Thurman, Shia LeBeouf, Charlotte Gainsburg, Willem DaFoe, and more in what appears to be the throes of orgasm. The film is touted to be an examination of a young girl's erotic life from infancy to middle age, and is expected to be released in both "hard core" and "soft core" versions. I imagine this is due mainly to the way American audiences and theaters still cower in fear of full-frontal male nudity. While none of the sex in "Nymphomaniac" is simulated, some from-the-waist-down body doubles are used.
The extensive poster campaign is turning some heads, and spurring a multitude of online votes to choose favorites. It's not so surprising that people are interested in a movie about sex, or that big-name actors are lining up to work with Lars Von Trier. What is surprising is to see that so many actors have agreed to have such unflattering, un-retouched pictures of their O faces blown up to poster size and plastered all over the world. Literally. Having seen all the posters, I can say that they are brave, revealing, and do nothing to dampen my desire to sleep with Willem DaFoe.
So check out the posters and tell us what you think. Do you like them? If yes, who's your favorite?