“365 Days” and “365 Days 2” are not good films, but they are revealing. And that was enough to storm the Netflix charts. There’s another duo on the platform that not only offers REAL sex, but is better in every way.
“365 Days” was without a doubt one in 2020 the Surprise hits on Netflix. Last but not least, the Polish thriller drama with erotic elements is reminiscent of the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” films, which are also based on a book series, but on closer inspection it differs here and there from the Hollywood competition: Because it doesn’t work only a little more revealing to the point, but also drifts again and again into particularly questionable areas when it comes to man-woman relationships. And as far as the plot is concerned: If the story of Christian Gray and Anastasia Steele fit on a beer mat, a postage stamp is enough for the Polish counterpart.
Regardless, the success seems to prove the concept right. After all, the sequel “365 Days 2: This Day”, which was launched at the end of April, also conquered the top 10 on Netflix. Strictly speaking, that success was not necessary at all another one Part to get off the ground: After the first film was such a hit, “365 Days 3” was shot in one wash with part 2. Fans of the insubstantial, toxic and terribly smooth ironed sexy power game franchise have to get involved first wait a little until Netflix adds the third film. If you are in the mood for free entertainment, even with a large portion real sex comes along, but above all enthralls and shocks, touches and makes you think, is already finding what you are looking for on the streaming platform. Because then we can recommend “Nymphomaniac I” and “Nymphomaniac II” to you.
“Nymphomaniac”: A classic Lars von Trier shocker
At the center of the erotic drama, which is divided into two films and eight chapters, is the nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who – beaten up and half unconscious – is one day picked up in a dark side street by a man named Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). He takes care of the woman, offers her a bed and nurses her back to health, whereupon the woman tells him the story of her sexual life and suffering.
The picture is black. Has the movie already started or is Netflix hanging again? Waiting. But no, something is happening. A snowy side street appears. Dark. Wet. And yet somehow picturesque. The camera floats almost silently through the alley. BOOM! As if out of nowhere, Rammstein fired from all guns. Yes, director Lars von Trier (“Dogville”, “melancholia”) makes it more than clear to his audience in the first few seconds what they have let themselves in for: a punch in the pit of the stomach that hardly any other filmmaker can pull off.
Here poetry meets New German Hardship, love meets (self-)hate, attraction meets repulsion, sex meets violence – and right in the middle the audience, defenseless at the mercy of everything that the scandal director has now dreamed up again. The main thing was that he was able to shake the Cannes Film Festival to its foundations again. But that’s the way it is with the Danish Dogma 95 founder: He arouses people’s curiosity, lures them to the cinema and then sweeps over them so uncompromisingly that they are literally thrown off their seats – in many cases even out of the cinema, long before his film is over.
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The two films, which are peppered with other stars such as Mia Goth, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman, Connie Nielsen and Christian Slater as well as Stacy Martin, who once celebrated her cinema debut in “Nymphomaniac”, are, typical of von Trier, geared towards riots, designed to rip the rug out from under their audience’s feet. And then follow up. The fact that the Dane repeatedly manages to catch his viewers off guard is particularly impressive – after all, we now know how von Trier ticks. But he also knows exactly how his audience is feeling.
Make your own contribution to this, among other things completely unromantic sex scenes that are almost disturbing in their coolness, for which, by the way, copulation actually took place in front of the camera. While in those sequences we see the above-mentioned star ensemble themselves from the waist up, the explicit intimate shots were shot with porn actors and actresses.
By the way, in order to get a role in “Nymphomaniac”, Shia LaBeouf resorted to truly involuntary means, after von Trier asked the “Transformers” star in advance to send him pictures of his penis. Willing to do almost anything to pose for the infamous director, the actor didn’t just send him a snap of his best piece, but sent him a series of videos of him having sex with his girlfriend . With success. Anyone who is willing to go that far deserves the part – Lars von Trier also found it in the end.
Attention: The Director’s Cut is almost 1.5 hours (!) longer
“Nymphomaniac” works best if you watch both films back-to-back. For the stream via Netflix, this means immersing yourself in the world of Joe and her sexual journey for a whopping four hours. On the streaming platform are “Vol. I” and “Vol. II” namely available in the theatrical version. However, the full load of “Nymphomaniac” is only available in the Director’s Cut. Part 1 is almost 30 minutes longer in the extended version, part 2 gets almost a whole hour (!) on top of that.
» “Nymphomaniac” Director’s Cut on Blu-ray at Amazon*
» “Nymphomaniac” Director’s Cut on Amazon Prime Video*
Good to know: The abridged versions available on Netflix were made by a producer to bring a more mass-market version of Nymphomaniac to theaters. The long versions, on the other hand, are those for which von Trier himself was responsible. If longer but automatically the same better means that in the end everyone has to decide for themselves. While alternative versions of other films were usually only changed in detail, so that many viewers often don’t even notice the innovations, the differences between the theatrical version and the director’s cut in the case of “Nymphomaniac” are exorbitant.
One and a half hours more turn “Nymphomaniac” into a completely new film experience. Characters and individual storylines get a lot more meat on the bones, but at the same time the narrative pace of the film changes. But does the double feature really have to last five and a half hours? Probably not. Nevertheless: It is undoubtedly an exciting undertaking to give both versions a chance to compare them afterwards.
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