marți, 6 iunie 2017

Belle de Jour, directed by Luis Bunuel, with Catherine Deneuve

Belle de Jour, directed by Luis Bunuel, with Catherine Deneuve

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Luis Bunuel has an unusual, at times surrealist take on making movies.
Notwithstanding its eccentricity, Belle de Jour is more "rational" than say The Exterminating Angel.

The film has been included on the New York Times' Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made List:

The phenomenal director has created other masterpieces:

-          The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Diary of a Chambermaid, That Obscure Object of Desire and others

The actress at the center of this film has participated at an astonishing number of films:

-          129

From recent remarkable works like The Brand New Testament and Standing Tall to classics like

Repulsion, Place Vendome, Indochine, The Last Metro, Tristana and others

The tagline for this film is

-          „Luis Bunuel's Masterpiece of Erotica.”

Catherine Deneuve is Severine Serizy aka Belle de Jour.

I cannot decide whether Severine is bored, very imaginative, perverse or more likely, a combination of the aforementioned traits.
Early on, she imagines or dreams scenes of a certain masochism.

In these confabulations, Severine is abused by her husband.
Furthermore, she is whipped by two coachmen.

At the end of the beating, her husband is giving her as a " sexual gift" and maybe a punishment to one of the two rough men.
At the time I thought that this is one of her fears.

And maybe this is part of the mystery.
She could well have acted crazy because of a deep anxiety and a terror of violence.

On the other hand, she seems to be excited by aggressive behavior, later on.
Henri Husson, a friend played by Michel Piccoli mentions the address of a brothel.

Initially, the idea seems preposterous to Severine.
But she is curious and maybe she had this inclination towards open relationships or "fornication".

I for one do not blame, look down on workers in the sex industry.
There are well regarded women, with money and power- I even think White House- who look like they have chosen despicable men not because they love them.

So many marriages and relationships are based on interest, love of money, fame, power and I see them as similar to the transactions from the sex industry.
Only in these "respectable" affairs, there are fewer "clients" or maybe just one has exclusivity in exchange for a fortune.

Severine becomes a high class prostitute.
Her nome de guerre is

-          Belle de Jour

The audience has a chance to see all sorts of sexual fantasies and predilections.
One client likes to be trampled upon.

Another originates from some place in Central Asia.
Finally, one becomes fascinated with Belle de Jour.

And this complicates matters and it all becomes dangerous.

This is a very good film.

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