Nymph()maniac

This is not book-related at all but a girl needs a break from talking about the memoir once in a while.

SPECIAL FEATURE: NYMPH()MANIAC, A FEMINIST ALLEGORY

BY JOWITA BYDLOWSKA

The Rusty Toque | March 24, 2014
Nymph()maniac is a story of a woman in control. This is not how she is first presented—bruised and bloody, lying unconscious in a dark alley, until she is found by a passerby who brings her to his house where she tells him her life story. The woman’s name is Joe (played by Maja Arsovic, Ananya Berg, Stacy Martin and Charlotte Ginsbourg) and she tells her rescuer, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) that she is a bad human being; she describes her badness as “sin”. The force underlying Joe’s lust is guilt of the worst kind—it’s Christian guilt and nothing destroys sexuality like Church. (At one point Joe is in a group of friends chanting, “Mea Vulva, Mea Vulva, Mea Maxima Vulva” a twist on Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa: “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault”). Seligman points out the religious connotation of the word “sin”. As the movie unfolds, Seligman will make a number of interesting and not so interesting observations. I suspect some of the observations serve as decoys and have no bearing on the actual story.Or I’m wrong and they do have bearing. There’s enough symbolism in Nymph()maniac to fuel essays like this one for the next few decades. Speaking of “wrong,” I’m also under the impression that this movie is receiving a lot of criticism because of its director, Lars Von Trier, who is not a nice person, and people tend to see this movie via the prism of who he is as a person (a misanthrope, hater of women, a Nazi, etcetera—he might or might not be any of these things). We live in a strange world where art is judged by the people who make it. THE REST IS HERE

 

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