‘Nymphomaniac”: The title itself is a provocation, not that we should expect anything less from Lars von Trier, the director who has specialized in nothing but.

With the film coming on the heels of the extreme sexual violence in “Antichrist” (2012), and surrounded by rumors of graphic, hard-core content, it was easy to expect “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” to be another exercise in von Trier pushing his audience’s buttons.

To an extent, that’s true — “Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1” has its shock-value scenes, but it’s not really about the sex, as von Trier heads down a labyrinth of intellectual and sensual digressions before finally winding up with a bleak parable on human nature.