05/21/2013 09:38 am ET

'Nymphomaniac' Sex Scenes: Lars Von Trier Movie Uses Body Doubles In 'Groundbreaking' Technology


Lars von Trier is an agent provocateur when it comes to promoting his movies, and he's doing a bang-up job at that with his latest, "Nymphomaniac."

After a sex-fueled promotional photo for the movie was posted last week, producer Louise Vesth revealed a particularly salacious detail to The Hollywood Reporter at the Cannes Film Festival. "Nymphomaiac" will include graphic sex scenes, many of which required body doubles whose bottom halves will be superimposed onto the famous actors von Trier cast in the film. Vesth said one buyer called the technology used in the film "groundbreaking."

"We shot the actors pretending to have sex and then had the body doubles who really did have sex, and in post we will digital impose the two," Vesth reportedly told THR. "So above the waist it will be the star, and the below the waist it will be the doubles." Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe are among the well-known stars in "Nymphomaniac."

The process of finding body doubles who could adequately serve as match-ups for the film's actors was one thing that prevented "Nymphomaniac" from making a Cannes debut, which the movie's executives originally said they were eyeing. Von Trier, of course, has a history with Cannes: At the 2011 festival Von Trier stated that he sympathized with Adolf Hitler, leading the festival to declare him "persona non grata." That ban, however, wasn't permanent. "Lars von Trier was declared 'persona non grata' for the festival of 2011. That means that he was declared 'persona non grata' for 2011 and was never declared 'persona non grata' forever," Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux said this year.

Producers also announced last week that the film wouldn't compete on the festival circuit at all, instead premiering in Denmark ahead of a Dec. 25 release date. Von Trier wanted both of the film's two parts to be complete before any premieres.

"Nymphomaniac" is the story of a woman recounting her erotic life to a man who rescues her from an alley where she is found beaten. A hard-core version of the movie will be released alongside a tamer one.

Von Trier is known for his graphic nature. An entire section of his Wikipedia page is devoted to "explicit images." The director's 1998 movie "The Idiots" is said to have ushered in a throng of art-house films in which the sex scenes are unsimulated.

Click here to see the "porn-inspired tableau" released for "Nymphomaniac" last week.



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