|Index||6 reviews in total|
I first saw this disturbing film at one of our local art galleries that also screened all of the new independent & foreign films that our local multi screen cinemas wouldn't touch with a ten foot projector. The story deals with a young woman under the spell of love with her new boyfriend who has a slimy,scummy undercurrent (read that as a pimp). Over the period of a few short years, she is transformed into a street wise,hardened hooker. We are treated to sequences of her dealing with some of the worst street scum. If it were not for the top drawer performances of it's cast, I would easily pass this off for smarmy soft core porn, but for some reason, Miou Miou seemed to charm her way into my heart (and my sympathy). 'La Derobade' (known in the U.S.as 'Memoirs Of A French Whore')may not be everybody's cup of tea,but the strong of heart will find some relevance in it.
A girl, Marie (Miou-Miou) is led into prostitution by her pimp
boyfriend, Gerard (Daniel Duval). She must not only give money to him
but to the gangsters that explore him as well. Marie, together with a
friend, Maloup (Maria Schneider), will try to become independent. They
start to work the streets on their own but they will meet physical and
sexual violence. They return to the brothels, and Marie goes back to
her pimp, but Gerard has his caprices and wants more and more he's in
a spiral downwards and he's leading Marie with him. There's seems to be
"La Derobade" is a grim film it shows the streets, the city scum and the violence that is an ever-constant threat to the girls who work the streets. It's a sad life.
The film is based on the memoirs written by Jeanne Cordelier. Miou-Miou is Marie - her acting is nothing short of luminous. And the musical score gives the film a reflexive, melancholic tone.
"La Derobade" is unique in the genre it is at the same time poetic and realistic. A neglected gem that deserves more recognition.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's put it that way : Daniel Duval's "La Derobade" is simply one the
best movies ever made about prostitution. It's a shame that it's not
recognized like the masterpiece that it is yet. First of all, The plot
is very basic and effective. We get to see the life of a young woman
named Marie Mage (the great Miou-Miou)from the moment she gets "turned
out" by a pathetic pimp called Gerard (Daniel Duval) until she gets rid
of the bastard. Of course, we also get to see what's going on in
between the two events and it's just tough, to say the least. If some
people are dumb enough to think that prostitution is glamor and that
pimps are just gigolos, they are in for one hell of a rough ride. What
that movie says is " forget about the easy money, the great sex, the
fancy cars and expensive clothes. What we got in store is nothing but
dirty reality". Dirty indeed...
A nice girl coming from a poor family tries to make it on its own working in a shoes store. Unfortunately her older sister is already hooking and it's not long before the girl herself is tricked into whoring by a slick talking pimp. She then has to face the worse scums and events that you can think about. From sadistic johns torturing her to cruel gangsters exploiting her pimp's gambling habits, they are all there to abuse her. Yet she stands and becomes tougher, stronger. So even though the streets (other prostitutes included) try to keep her down, she eventually makes it to the free world.
Adding to darkness and the realism of the plot, the technical side is perfectly handled. From the cinematography to the acting, everything is on point. From the actors faces (both small and big roles) to the settings (cheap bordellos, night clubs, stinking streets...), it all helps taking you into a scary world that really is not far from home. Exploitation Flicks made by true artists are the best because they call for the peeping Tom in you and make him pay by showing him just what he wants to see. That's right, See " The Memoirs Of A French Whore"! By doing so, you'll sure be thrilled and moved and maybe you'll learn something.
Prostitution is a subject that has been ill-treated in film. Either the
subject matter is too shocking for prudish censor boards, or the
scripts have foundered in sentimentality and silliness. There is the
documentary approach: Godard tried it twice in Vivre Sa vie and Two or
three things..., with no great success. There are the
romantic-surrealist or burlesque approaches: Belle de jour, McCabe and
Mrs Miller, Pretty Baby, Whore, Irma La Douce. These films have their
partisans, but they don't satisfy me. The violence and squalor of
whoring just aren't brought out and made real. This is a trade that can
lead to the death (or incapacitation) of the woman who practices it.
Daniel Duval is not a director to stand with Bunuel, Malle, Altman or
Godard, but at least he understands the grittiness and desperation of
the material he is dealing with.
Miou-Miou won the César for Best Actress for her portrayal of Marie-Mage; it is well deserved. She brings out the desperate clinging to her pimp Gérard (excellently played by Duval), and makes real the symbiotic relations between the two. Gérard, for all his creepiness, is really the best thing she has ever seen.
there are two kinds of whore, nature whore and forced whore, the former
kind prevails,there is no cut rated whores I think. forced one is not
the message of the film is kind like being a whore isn't bad,what's bad is being a tool of males...
so guess I cannot agree with the director, the duvall guy might have huge experience in whores, but he couldn't give more useful info than a ten years old.
not the worst film about sex, routine for my huge film collection and daily viewing.
I hope I can say this and stay within IMDb guidelines, but this is not a very nice film, despite its pretensions to Bresson or Fassbinder. It purports to tell a harrowing story from its female protagonist's point of view - a woman prostituted by her boyfriend becomes both a slave and one of the damned in an inescapable man-made hell - but all the time violence on women is fetishised and exploited, while that on men is chastely elided. It is the duty of filmmakers to expose repression and corruption, not collude in it.
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|