Don’t even try to lie, you’re already uncomfortably turned-on by Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. As one of my favorite models of mental illness, von Trier uses his extreme anxieties and fears to fuel his creative work, never shying away from subjects most deem too penetrating or emotionally intrusive. His films are charged with a sense of sexual turmoil, wrestling with the dichotomy betwen the tremendous sense of pain and the carnal pleasure of the act that allows us to leave our own bodies and disappear into something else. And with Nymphomaniac—or as it may have been called if von Trier had his way, Shit in the Bedsore—perhaps we’ll see him go deeper into the pyschology of that struggle between one’s own impulses versus fighting for control.
So in honor of this playful and pleasant photo of the cast and von Trier all together for the first time, let’s take a look at some of the best, most coherent, and inspiring quotes from the brilliant king of perverse pleasure and cineamtic bleakness.
1. I grew up in a culturally radical home, where strong emotions were forbidden.
2. I don’t know why everybody thinks I’m very, very small. This T-shirt I have now is Ingmar Bergman on a cloud. It was given to me a week ago. I’m not really sure he is on a cloud. I think maybe he went straight to hell, but that we don’t know.
3. I’m happy that I’m alive. I feel like someone coming back from Vietnam, you know; I’m sure that later on I’ll start killing people in a square somewhere, but right now, I just feel happy to be alive.
4. Because I’m a cultural rebel, I couldn’t make a porn film without a dick and a condom. So it will have to be soft-core.
5. If I made a musical in the beginning of my career, it would have been crane shots and tracking shots and people coming out of cakes and whatever, but these techniques are something that I’ve left behind me.
6. That’s the great thing about entering a convent: There are things that you simply can’t do, so you don’t have to worry about them.
7. I come from a family of Communist nudists. I was allowed to do or not do what I liked. My parents were not interested in whether I went to school or got drunk on white wine.
8. I’m not a woman! Let’s make that very clear! Oh I don’t know, maybe I am. I am an American woman. Or 65 percent of me is.
9. If anyone would like to hit me, they are perfectly welcome. I must warn you, though, that I might enjoy it. So maybe it’s not the right kind of punishment.
10. [When asked what there was more of in life—misery or joy] Misery, damnit! Clearly. You may argue: Orgasm. Yes, that’s fine enough. But, orgasms, Ferraris and other pleasures. Yes, but the death and suffering at the other end of the scale, those weigh more, I think. And there’s much more suffering and pain than pleasure. And when you enjoy a spring day, that too is a kind of melancholy.
Photo va Indiewire
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