Director Lars von Trier may attend world premiere in Berlin
LONDON — The uncut version of “Nymphomaniac Volume I” will world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it will play out of competition. It has yet to be confirmed whether director Lars von Trier will attend the screening.
The shorter version of Von Trier’s pic will be rolled out worldwide in movie theaters from Dec. 25.
The Berlin premiere will be the only screening of the uncut version of “Volume I” until the long version of “Volume II” premieres later in 2014, according to the film’s sales company TrustNordisk.
“Berlinale audiences will be the first to see the long uncut version of ‘Nymphomaniac Volume I.’ Lars von Trier, a guest of the Berlinale for the first time in 1984, returns to the festival with this film. The aesthetic he has created in ‘Nymphomaniac’ is impressive and radical,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.
The ensemble cast is led by Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf. Other thesps in the pic are Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr and Udo Kier. British actress Stacy Martin makes her big screen debut.
The choice of venue for the premiere — in the former capital of the Nazi Third Reich and only a short walk from the city’s Holocaust memorial — could prove controversial, especially if Von Trier attends. The Danish director was banned from the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 after a press conference for his last film “Melancholia” in which he jokingly said he was a Nazi and that that he understood Hitler.
The remarks, which he quickly came to regret, were made in jest in response to a question about his German roots.
Von Trier said: “I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew … Then it turned out that I was not a Jew … I found out that I was really a Nazi, which also gave me some pleasure.
“What can I say? I understand Hitler. He did some wrong things, absolutely, but I can see him sitting there in his bunker at the end … I sympathize with him, yes, a little bit.”
He added: “But come on, I am not for the Second World War, and I am not against Jews. I am very much for Jews; well not too much because Israel is a pain in the ass. But still, how can I get out of this sentence … OK I’m a Nazi.”
Von Trier later said in a statement: “If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said, I sincerely apologize. I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.”