Should the promise of five hours of celebrity-adjacent copulating, the months of “appetizers,” and Uma Thurman showing you the whoring bed not have sufficiently enticed you into watching Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, how about a series of posters in which the film’s stars pretend to orgasm? Too late; like the phrase “Shia LaBeouf’s penis,” this movie has now made them unavoidable. You have to look.
Here’s star Charlotte Gainsbourg, in the throes of the ecstasy that is briefly not being tortured by Lars von Trier. She also looks very sleepy; five straight hours of Nymphomaniacin’ will do that to you.
Here’s Willem Dafoe, who manages to make even ejaculation look menacing. What does Willem Dafoe think about when he masturbates, anyway? (A hundred bucks says it involves the words “remaining true to the actor’s impulse” and a sad Romanian woman, just silently watching.)
Here’s Christian Slater wondering, “Is this how Jack Nicholson would orgasm?”
Here’s Uma Thurman in an ad for Herbal Essences. (What, you think Uma Thurman needs to be on your orgasm poster? This is all you get.)
Here’s Shia LaBeouf, so cool with doing whatever—drugs, sex, smoking cigarettes, whatever it takes to be real. This is the realest orgasm you’re ever going to get, man. Maybe it’s just too real for you.
Here’s Jamie Bell, Mia Goth, Jens Albinus, and Nicolas Bro in the posters where you’re obviously going to comment, “Ha ha, it looks like they’re taking a shit and/or farting and/or having a burning pee,” it’s inevitable. So here, do that on these.
Here are Connie Nielsen and Stellan Skarsgard—older, wiser actors who have learned that sex is inseparable from pain, love inseparable from anger. There is a reason the French call it “la petite mort”: Sex is death in increments, each orgasm and its quick dissipation like the painfully brief rush of life itself. So they look really pissed off when they’re naked.
Here is the last known photo taken of Udo Kier. R.I.P. Udo Kier. You died as you lived: in someone’s artsy masturbatory fantasy.