How Von Trier Is Selling 'Nymphomaniac': Orgasm Faces

COPENHAGEN—In a little less than two months—on Christmas Day, to be precise—Lars Von Triers' two-part film Nymphomaniac will be released in Denmark, and will hit U.S. theaters early in 2014, reportedly in both NC-17 and R-rated versions. As AVN has previously noted, the film will feature hardcore sex scenes by well-known Hollywood actors—but only their top halves; all the actual penetration will be accomplished by as-yet-unidentified porn stars, whose lower bodies will digitally replace the below-the-waist parts of such stars as Uma Thurman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connie Nielsen, Shia LaBoeuf, Willem Dafoe, Christian Slater and others.

Plot-wise, the film revolves around Joe (Gainsbourg), who after being found beaten in an alley, tells the world about her sexual adventures as a self-described nymphomaniac. Connie Nielsen and Christian Slater play Joe's mom and dad, with Uma Thurman described only as "Mrs. H," with several other characters bearing only single-letter identities as well.

Of course, when the news broke mid-last year that the half-dozen or so stars would be having actual sexual intercourse in the film, the mainstream press lapped it up—and it didn't hurt that LaBoeuf said he'd be willing to do the hardcore scenes himself if the special effects substitutions didn't work.

So the question then became how best to advertise this offering that stretches across the (admittedly loose) boundary between mainstream and hardcore? The answer would seem to be self-evident: Since people want to see sex, show them sex!

Well, not exactly. What Von Trier did was release 14 posters, each showing one of the actors in the film delivering "orgasm face"—and for fans of adult videos who've seen their share of real orgasm faces, the results are interesting.

The entire set of 14 posters can be seen here, but we'll go out on a limb and say that the three pictured on this page—Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin and Mia Goth—are the best, though others will probably also enjoy Christian Slater's and Willem Dafoe's attempts.

The Sound of Music, they ain't—but the posters are bound to draw customers into the theaters... and that's pretty much all a producer or director can ask for.