Charlotte Gainsbourg

REVIEW: ‘Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1’ Explores the Meaning of Feelings

I divide feature-length motion pictures into three categories: movies, which are what the studios make for the most part; film, which is David O. Russell, PT Anderson, Woody Allen, et al., and just about everything at festivals like Sundance; cinema, which is the more transcendent work of auteurs like Won Kar Wai and Terrence Malick, which breaks convention with a singular vision but still retains the cohesiveness of narrative entertainment. Lars von Trier falls into the cinema category, and his Nymphomaniac is an instant-classic example of my definition.

(There is a fourth category, fine-art film, which is long-form filmed art made by the likes of Peter Greenaway and Matthew Barney; Greenaway used to make cinema, which is to say his films once had some form of cohesive narrative structure, but he seems to have abandoned that altogether recently.