Santa Ana's The Frida Cinema, which some may know better as the old Fiesta Twin on Fourth Street downtown, is not only presenting the exclusive Orange County theatrical run of Lars von Trier's new cinematic opus Nymphomaniac starting tonight but a retrospective with seven more of the controversial Danish filmmaker's works over the next several weeks.
Critically acclaimed Nymphomaniac: Volume I, which comes to Santa Ana just one week after its Los Angeles release, runs nightly tonight through April 10. It's the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who believes herself to be a nymphomaniac and is discovered badly beaten in an alley by older bachelor Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård). As Seligman nurses Joe's wounds in his home, she recounts her erotic adolescence and young adulthood (portrayed in flashback by newcomer Stacy Martin). Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier also star.
Nymphomaniac: Volume II, which opens April 11 at Frida Cinema and continues there through April 25, picks up with the story of Joe's adulthood, "where her journey of self-discovery leads to darker complications." Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr join Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, Martin and LaBeouf in the cast.
Oh, yes, if the title and descriptions weren't enough of a warning: You may want to keep your young ones away from both volumes.
"Lars Von Trier Retrospective–7 Films by the Danish Master" also kicks off tonight with the titles on the next page.
First, tonight and Saturday night, we get out Bjork on with Dancer in the Dark, which some consider a masterpiece.
"Some" is a word von Trier is used to hearing. Though his films have won more than 75 awards internationally, reviewers have called him a "genius" and his female leads have won or been nominated for awards (Bjork, Gainsbourg, Emily Watson, Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman among them), von Trier has also been labeled a misogynist and self-indulgent filmmaker. So maybe you should check these out (or check them out all over again) to see what you think:
NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I (Friday, March 28-Thursday, April 10)
DANCER IN THE DARK (Friday-Saturday, March 28-29, 8:30 & 11:55 p.m.)
MELANCHOLIA (Sunday-Monday, March 30-31, 4:30 & 8:30 p.m.)
EUROPA (ZENTROPA) (Tuesday, April 1, at 2, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.)
BREAKING THE WAVES (Wednesday-Thursday, April 2-3, 2 & 8 p.m.)
ANTICHRIST (Friday-Saturday, April 4-5, 10 p.m.)
DOGVILLE (Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6, 2 p.m.)
MANDERLAY (Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6, 5:30 p.m.)
NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I (Friday, April 11-Friday, April 25)
Non-Lars stuff programmer extraordinaire Logan Crow also has coming to The Frida Cinema include: Barrio Writers 2014 book release and reading Saturday at 2 p.m.; First Saturday Artwalk: Controversial Celluloid with A Clockwork Orange (be still my heart) on April 5; premiere of the documentary 3 1/2 Year Without a Toothbrush: a Teenaged Holocaust Survivor Story on April 25; and The Vagina Monologues live reading benefiting SAVS! on April 25-26.
For more details, visit www.thefridacinema.org. The Frida Cinema is at 305 E. 4th St., Santa Ana.