This film is not about sex.
Sex is not the focus of this film, sex is the glue that holds the story together, and tears it apart.
Volume 1 of nymphomaniac evoked a wealth of emotional responses throughout it’s showing, what it did not do, was force these emotions or play a front to justify it’s content and the audience’s responses. nymphomaniac is not a shocking film, It’s scenes are at times stark and bare, but for all it’s lofty artistic style nymphomaniac sticks anchored to earth, gazing at the sunset.
This is no ‘Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo’ our character is not falling into the depths of a lifestyle or an addiction, nor is she trying to shock with gritty realism and most importantly she is not defending herself to the audience as she speaks, we are experiencing a cinematic narrative so close to genuine experience that we are entranced, we laughed and we groaned at her stories even if our experiences deemed them alien.
To this extent the shooting and direction confuses our sense of judgement, joe places sex as the subject and world by which her world operates, she describes in detail the meticulous narcassistic purpose of having multiple partners, of her sex oriented lifestyle. But when the sex scenes occur, the camera hovers, it doesn’t explore, the dynamic cutting invades, the pleasure is the purpose but the act gives nothing, it is less than an event, it simply happens, it cuts at our emotional connection to sex, even if that’s merely pleasure for us in the audience and for joe, it passes too quickly, it may have been orgasmic, but she is still not satisfied and this sense of normalisation seeps into the audience until the tragic “I CAN”T FEEL ANYTHING” that closes the curtain for volume 1.
I await viewing volume two of Nymphomaniac, for me volume one did not have me squirming in my seat from explicit scenes, but instead, from such a deeply human tale, woven from nonchalant narrative that strangely brings you deeper into the characters.
I’m not sure about my emotional response to the film and I have my reservations about the second part, but after a few discussions, i’m glad the film is divided into two volumes.
“Perhaps the only difference between me and other people is that I’ve always demanded more from the sunset,”