“Nymphomaniac” Is “Really Bad Porn”

Two years after being expelled from the Cannes film festival after joking he was a Nazi, Lars von Trier is back with a bang – or rather a series of them. The Danish director’s latest production, “Nymphomaniac,” contains scenes of oral sex, anal sex and threesomes, together with an extended montage of penis types. The movie, four hours long and scheduled to go right to video-on-demand in the U.S., has been screened in Europe. One of its stars, Stellan Skarsgård, insists the movie isn’t pornographic. “Pornography has just one purpose, which is to arouse you. To make you wank, basically,” Skarsgard told the Guardian after a screening of the film in Copenhagen. “But if you look at this film, it’s actually a really bad porn movie, even if you fast forward. And after a while you find you don’t even react to the explicit scenes. They become as natural as seeing someone eating a bowl of cereal.” But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Who wants to watch a four-hour-long movie about something as banal as eating Cheerios? There’s nothing the least bit daring about making a movie about sex, and “arguments” about the shock of pornography (or non-pornography) were already old-hat in the 1960s.

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