Von Trier brings longer Nymphomaniac to Berlin

2014-02-10 17:00
Berlin  — Lars von Trier brought an extra-long version of his Nymphomaniac Volume I to the Berlin International Film Festival on Sunday. But the Danish director left his stars to do the talking — some of them, anyway.

Shia LaBeouf took an early leave from the press conference promoting the film, heading off with a borrowed comment that left reporters scratching their heads.

LaBeouf says so long

A reporter's question as to whether the actors were worried about the film's sex scenes elicited the response: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much." He then walked out.

LaBeouf's line was borrowed from French soccer player Eric Cantona, who baffled reporters with it in the mid-1990s following his suspension for a flying kick on a heckler.

The actor has come under fire for borrowing dialogue and story line for his short film, Howard Cantour.com, which closely resembled a 2007 graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.

"In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation," LaBeouf said on Twitter in December in response to Clowes' publisher's claim that he stole dialogue verbatim.

Von Trier keeps quiet

Von Trier turned up to a photo call sporting a t-shirt with the logo of the Cannes Film Festival and the words "Persona non grata, official selection." In 2011, von Trier was ejected from the Cannes event after a bizarre, rambling news conference in which he expressed sympathy with Adolf Hitler.

He said afterward he had been joking, later issuing an apology and then saying he would refrain from future public statements.

The director skipped Sunday's news conference to talk about the film. The version at the festival increases to nearly 2 ½ hours the first installment of the two-part drama about a woman's sexual life from girlhood to age 50.

Seven pages of rage

Uma Thurman enjoyed letting off the "fury of woman scorned" in a monologue von Trier wrote for her in the movie. "It was a real great challenge to memorize seven pages of Lars' female diatribe of rage," she told reporters.

"Lars kept saying I was overacting, but that's nothing new," Thurman added.

Slow down

Christian Slater said that the eccentric director was "patient, gentle, kept telling me to slow down." That, he said, was a big contrast with Hollywood, where "they always want things to move so quickly — and it was nice to actually be on a set where there was actually some real time given to capture moments."

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