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A Gagged Lars von Trier Reveals 'Nymphomaniac' Chapters

Lars von Trier gagged - P 2013
Casper Sejersen. Courtesy of Zentropa

The Danish director unveils the structure of his upcoming erotic epic.

COLOGNE, Germany -- Lars von Trier still isn't talking. But, like the finest of strip tease performers, the controversial Danish director continues to show he has mastered the art of the slow reveal.

On Friday, von Trier gave fans another sneak peak at his upcoming erotic epic Nymphomaniac, announcing the titles of the eight chapters that will make up the two feature-length films: Nymphomaniac Volumes I and II.

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The chapter titles give little information, serving only to further whet the appetite for what is already one of the year's most anticipated films. In order, they are: Chapter 1: The Complete Angler, Chapter Two: Jerome, Chapter 3: Mrs. H, Chapter 4: Delirium, Chapter 5: The Little Organ School, Chapter 6: The Eastern & Western Church (The Silent Duck), Chapter 7: The Mirror, Chapter 8: The Gun.

In the months leading up to Nymphomaniac's world premiere in Copenhagen in December, von Trier and producer Zentropa plan to release a teaser for each chapter that contains a headline, a film still and a short narrative description of the plot. These small sneak peeks will be published exclusively in select newspapers worldwide, in a move that mirrors the Wikileaks cable leak cooperation in 2010.

The teasers and stills will all eventually be collected online on the film's offiical website: www.nymphomaniacthemovie.com.

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Using the literary device of chapters to segment his movies is nothing new for von Trier, who used it for such features as Melancholia and Dogville. But the director appears to be taking things to a new level with Nymphomaniac and goes so far as to claim he is creating a new film genre he has christened Digressionism.

In an early interview with THR on Nymphomaniac, before his self-imposed ban on making public statements, von Trier cited literary inspirations such as Marcel Proust's monumental, and heavily digressive, classic In Search of Lost Time as an example of the kind of literary style he was aiming to transfer to film.

Von Trier decided to stop making public statements after his controversial "joke" about understanding Hitler at the Cannes press conference for Melancholia in 2011 got him branded a persona non grata by the festival and sparked a police investigation, since dropped, into allegations of hate speech.