Unfortunately, the world of erotic cinema is quite often left behind as the bastardized stepchild of pornography. As long as they’ve been making films, they’ve been making erotic films. Films intended to stimulate or excite the viewer but at the same time, films that are a very important part of cinematic history, and are not to be discounted. They’re not all winners, but there certainly are some diamonds in the rough to be found. Real films with real characters and real stories to be told… not just sex for the sake of sex and more often than not little to no hardcore elements. One of the true classics of erotic cinema has finally surfaced on domestic DVD, The Story of O… let’s take a look. Continue reading
Undeniably a work of enormous scope, Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoires du cinéma eludes easy definition. An extended essay on cinema by means of cinema. A history of the cinema, and history interpreted by the cinema. An hommage and a critique. An anecdotal autobiography, illuminated by Godard’s encyclopedic wit, extending the idiom established by JLG par JLG. An epic – and non-linear – poem. A freely associative essay. A vast multi-layered musical composition. Histoires du cinéma is all of these. It is above all, a work made by a man who loves and is fascinated by the world of film. Continue reading
Vanda is an unusually talented young actress determined to land the lead in Thomas’ new play based on the classic erotic novel, Venus in Fur. Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the gifted but demanding playwright/director becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. “As always with Polanski, the narrative’s eccentricities are cloaked in an expert veneer of classicism” (Keith Uhlich: Time Out); “Roman Polanski’s penchant for psychosexual mind games conducted in claustrophobic spaces is deliciously revisited in ‘Venus in Fur’ (…) Emmanuelle Seigner is a fresh revelation” (David Rooney: The Hollywood Reporter); “‘Venus in Fur’ finds Roman Polanski transferring a New York stage hit to the screen with maximum fidelity and facility, and a minimum of fuss.” (Scott Foundas: Variety); “‘Venus In Fur’ is a playful if occasionally heavy-handed jeu d’ésprit on the subject of sexual role-play (…) illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act. (…) Rating: *** (out of five)” (Peter Bradshaw: The Guardian).
‘Jean, who is the artistic director of a fashion magazine, is married to a very pretty cover girl, Sylvie. They both work for André Reverdy, a very cynical man, who openly covets Sylvie. Jean, awfully jealous, can’t put up with the situation. Persuaded that his young wife has given herself to his rival he goes and waits for Reverdy outside his bachelor flat. When the hated man goes out, he kills him…’
– Guy Bellinger Continue reading
In a routine look at what it means to finally leave adolescence behind — even in one’s mature years — this series of mood swings and sequences focuses on two grown men. Francois (Jean Francois Stevenin, the director) and Leo (Yves Alonso) are old friends, and at one point they decide to go out and search for one of their childhood buddies, the brunt of several of their practical jokes. In true form, the men opt for playing yet another practical joke on their friend, but their plans backfire when his wife Helene (Carole Bouquet) comes into the picture instead. Her presence forces them to reconsider their shenanigans in a new light. Continue reading
This film marks the directorial debut of actor Jean-François Stevenin. Serge (Stevenin) is a dweller in the French provinces who happens upon Georges (Jacques Villeret), a Parisian motorist in distress. Serge arranges for the car to be taken to a nearby garage. Georges’ friends, who were with him in the car, have continued their journeys. Because of that, Serge takes Georges under his wings while he waits for his car to be repaired, and they tour the countryside and party with the local revelers. Nothing much is said between them, but it is clear that they have become friends Continue reading
In an airport hotel on the outskirts of Paris, a Silicon Valley engineer abruptly chucks his job, breaks things off with his wife, and holes up in his room. Soon, fate draws him and a young French maid together Continue reading