As anyone who crossed their legs uncomfortably during Antichrist will attest, authenticity, biology and controversy are the ABCs of Lars von Trier. His most recent film, Nymphomaniac, tells the story of sex fiend Joe, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, and the latest round of publicity shots are as carnal as they come. The campaign, devised by husband and wife creative team Philip Eistein Lipski and Maria Billmann and shot by Danish photographer Casper Sejersen, captures cast members from Stellan Skarsgard to Uma Thurman and Christian Slater pulling rather authentic-looking orgasm faces. LBB’s Laura Swinton caught up with Philip and Maria to find out more about the movie posters that have hit the Internet’s G-Spot.
LBB> How did you develop the idea of these close-up orgasm shots? Was it one of these ideas that takes a lot of time to arrive at or was it a lightning bolt of inspiration?
P&M> Our ambition was to make a campaign that aimed wider than the art house audience. The title and the theme of the movie is controversial and therefore "useful" advertising-wise.
Lars Von Trier's movies are regarded as high on the cultural index, while pornography is regarded as the absolutely lowest – we found it interesting to explore the tension between these two opposites. The brainstorming came easily as always when the product is crystal clear, so we had many ideas but quickly decided that this was the way to go.
LBB> The orgasm images follow a porn set-inspired teaser image earlier in the year - how does the whole campaign hang together?
P&M> As always the producer wanted a full cast group shot. We decided to make the most of it and put them in compromising positions to make it worth talking about. The title of the movie is what we elaborate on in both this and the orgasm images.
LBB> The Orgasm photos are pretty audacious - what was the reaction from Lars von Trier and the rest of the team when you presented this idea?
P&M> When presenting creative work to Lars Von Trier you HAVE to be audacious! He is not your usual "can-we-get-a-bigger-logo-kind-of-client". He is one of the most notoriously creative people on earth and fearless in his own work. So our concern was merely if it was bold enough. Lars' reaction to the idea was very rational, quick and without hesitation. He knew it wasn't going to be easy but both he and his close knit team supported us from the get go.
LBB> You've worked with photographer Casper Sejersen - what do you feel he has brought to the campaign?
P&M> Casper has been a great creative partner to us. He helped define the look of the campaign so that we ended up having something that was neither porn nor a collection of beauty shots, but something realistic and candid. And a way you have never before seen these actors depicted.
LBB> In terms of the shoot itself, how did you and Casper work with the actors to help them perform and get the perfect expressions?
P&M> We made sure the actors felt safe and understood what we were aiming for. They were totally devoted to the film and trusted Lars which helped verify our raunchy idea. Even though the shots look similar, every shoot was unique because of the different ways actors work.
LBB> The reaction to the posters has been phenomenal over the last day or so - have you been surprised by the reaction?
P&M> We are grateful that the campaign was well received – but surprised, honestly no. It's not every day you see these people wearing their O-face.
View the whole set of images and find out more about the film here.