Thirteen years after WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor, currently the night porter at a Vienna hotel, meet again and fall back into their sado-masochistic ... See full summary »
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Péter Breznyik Berg
Thirteen years after WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor, currently the night porter at a Vienna hotel, meet again and fall back into their sado-masochistic relationship. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw this film quite by accident last night on IFC and have been walking around in a state of near tears ever since. What really struck me about the story was not the sadomasochistic aspect which I actually found to be rather minor, (He slaps her around a bit and there is a scene where she is chained to a bed), but rather the tenderness and love shown by Max. He calls her "his little girl" throughout the movie and indeed that seems to be the most accurate description of his feelings. I couldn't help thinking of Lolita and indeed it is a similar idea. In both stories the man is both the tormentor and the tormented. Because he is in a position of absolute power of course he is the exploiter, but also it is almost as though he is held captive by "her", the illusive girl/child/women he want to both take care of the way one would a daughter and also penetrate like a lover. And in both stories this proves of course to be impossible as the mans very nature (in one case he is a pedophile, in another a Nazi) prevents it from being so.
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