The Danish director decides to 'work blue’ again.
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8 Aug 2011 - 10:13 AM  UPDATED 6 Nov 2012 - 2:30 AM

Lars von Trier's films generally have struggled to win audiences and critical approval since Dancer in the Dark in 2000 so it's not surprising the Danish director is reverting to his roots as a pornographer.

His next feature is Nymphomaniac, an English-language drama which will chronicle the erotic life of a woman from infancy to the age of 50.

There will be two versions, a hardcore cut likely to feature scenes of penetration and a softer version for mainstream cinemas, according to Screen Daily.

“I think that this will be a very amusing film also, very erotic but very funny also,” said Peter Aalbæk Jensen, his partner in Zentropa Entertainment. “I guess we have something which could generate some press attention. How pornographic it will be, that we have to see in terms of what financing dictates.”

Zentropa made history in 1998 by becoming the world's first legitimate production company to produce hardcore porno features via a subsidiary named Puzzy Power, starting with Constance and followed by Pink Prison, HotMen CoolBoyz and All About Anna.

Puzzy Power's 'manifesto' was to make sexually explicit films aimed specifically at women, with actual plots and using film crews who'd worked on cinema features.

At this year's Cannes film festival von Trier joked about making a porn film with Kirsten Dunst, one of the stars of his movie Melancholia, which played in competition in Cannes.

The director was declared persona non grata by the festival after stating, apparently in jest, that he was a Nazi and he sympathised with Hitler.

Melancholia, a Doomsday saga which Madman will open in Australia on Boxing Day, has a 75% approval rating from the critics polled by Rotten Tomatoes, a rare thumbs up for a filmmaker who got a critical mauling for Antichrist and Manderlay.

Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum hailed Melancholia as “the work of a man whose slow emergence from personal crisis has resulted in a moving masterpiece, marked by an astonishing profundity of vision” and a “breathtaking prelude to the coming temporal and psychological apocalypse.”

The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy was less impressed, declaring, “ A brooding cross between The Celebration (Festen) and Armageddon drenched in the tragic romanticism of Richard Wagner, this contemplation of the planet's demise predictably provides not an ounce of comfort or redemption, nor does it offer characters or ideas with which to meaningfully engage, just ample opportunity to wallow in some rapturous images, glorious music and a foul mood. Absent the deliberate provocations of Antichrist and some of the Danish contrarian's other works, a middling commercial career seems in store.”

Von Trier made headlines again last month when it was revealed Dogville was listed on the Facebook page of Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of committing the recent massacres in Norway, as one of his favourite films.

Nymphomaniac is expected to start shooting in the northern summer of 2012, outside Denmark. “That's the burden of coming from a shitty little country,” Peter Aalbæk Jensen told Screen Daily. “We have to put the financing together in bits and pieces and shoot where people are generous enough to support Lars.”