Day 712: Nymphomaniac

So I watched this move, Nymphomaniac.

It was... different, to say the least. I watched it because I was rather interested in the work of the director, Lars von Trier, who has been involved with some rather different films.

So, Nymphomaniac is about a woman who is addicted to sex/sexuality. The film has real sex scenes in it (they used porn star body doubles, apparently), so prepare yourself for some rather explicit sex scenes.

The movie is set where the woman is telling her life story to an objective listener, an apparently asexual man who does not constrict his perspectives according to social norms, but rather attempts to see past the actions of the woman (in her story) to see the cause, or reasoning of her behaviour. On the other end is the woman who is telling her story and judging herself for her choices in life. She hates herself, blames herself and sees herself and her actions as disgusting. So it is quite interesting to see the warped self image based on trying to fit in with social norms, versus the objective and investigative view on human behaviour.

Another thing that I quite enjoyed was the dialogue. Films and TV all too often panders to the whims and desires of an immature and superficial audience, rarely creating shows/films that actually reflect the rawness and reality of people. This film, while exhibiting rather eloquent and maybe even uncommon speech, is still more real than so much else in the media of today.

The focus on the main character's sexual addiction is of course in itself completely unusual, even though sexuality is less of a taboo these days than it was, say 20 years ago. The film covers a relatively wide array of aspects within sexuality, touching for example on sado-masochism and the psychology behind sexuality.

The film is rather limited in terms of offering solutions to this addiction, and portrays it in a sort of light like the addiction is something that 'happens to' someone and in a way cannot be helped - which is where I see it could be improved upon. Addictions can be changed, and supportive material is needed in the world so that people can empower themselves to change themselves.

This lack of solutions coming through is a common thing, the problem is given all of the attention, but in such a light so as too make it appear to be inevitable, or impossible to overcome. People are continuously portrayed as victims, forced to live with whatever unfortunate fate has been assigned to them, and while they may find peace within it, it is not often shown how that problem can be overcome and how each person does in fact possess the potential and ability to overcome any limitation.

The media mediums have a huge influence on people, it could be used to empower and educate people to recognise and overcome their personal limitations and grow as compassionate, understanding and supportive beings.