1 user 15 critic

Art of Love (1983)

Ars amandi (original title)
Young student Claudine has a dream in which the Roman student Cornelius, fascinated by the beautiful wife of the commander, attends lectures on the art of love of great Ovid. Ancient tragedy happens again in a few centuries



(poem), (story) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Love Rites (1987)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Marina Pierro, Mathieu Carrière, Josy Bernard
Immoral Women (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Three erotic tales: The first film features Marina Pierro as a woman who inspires more than just creativity in the minds and loins of the men of ancient Rome. In the second offering, a ... See full summary »

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Marina Pierro, Gaëlle Legrand, Pascale Christophe
La marge (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Sigismond (Joe Dallesandro) is a man lost in an erotic haze which clouds his judgment. Early in the film, it is evident that the man has a physically passionate relationship with his wife, ... See full summary »

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Joe Dallesandro, André Falcon
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The teenage girl is first seen confessing and warned about having any impure thoughts or feelings. Her family has boarders and one day a young man moves in and they fall in love. He is ... See full summary »

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Grazyna Dlugolecka, Jerzy Zelnik, Olgierd Lukaszewicz
Lulu (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of a sexually enticing young dancer who rises up in society through her relationships with wealthy men, but later falls into poverty and prostitution, culminating in an encounter with Jack 'the Ripper'.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Anne Bennent, Michele Placido, Jean-Jacques Delbo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 19th century London, a sex maniac sneaks into the engagement party of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Miss Fanny Osbourne, turning the event into a nightmarish whirlpool of murder and debauchery.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A zealous, handsome priest, who is the confessor for a convent full of women, encourages the equally zealous abbess of one such institution to enforce the same strict rules on these ... See full summary »

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Ligia Branice, Howard Ross, Marina Pierro
Blanche (1971)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blanche is the young, pure, beautiful wife of the Master of the castle, in a secluded land. Every man is in love with her, including the King and his servant Bartolomeo, visiting the Master.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Michel Simon, Georges Wilson, Jacques Perrin
Animation | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A dark and grotesque story of a married couple the wife, a mechanical monster made up of iron bits and her henpecked husband.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Louisette Rousseau, Pierre Collet, Louis Jojot
The Beast (1975)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A late businessman's daughter is heading with her aunt to the estate of her soon-to-be husband, unaware of the strange rumors that cloud the family's name.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Sirpa Lane, Lisbeth Hummel, Elisabeth Kaza
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An erotic collection of short stories, an anthology comprised of tantalizing tales about sexual desire and its diverse manifestations.

Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Stars: Lise Danvers, Fabrice Luchini, Charlotte Alexandra
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Simonetta Stefanelli stars as Lucrezia Borgia in Luciano Ercoli's version of the early life of this fascinating historical persona. If the accuracy of the historical facts may be drawn into... See full summary »

Director: Luciano Ercoli
Stars: Simonetta Stefanelli, Massimo Foschi, Ettore Manni


Cast overview:
Marina Pierro ...
General Laurentius
Mireille Pame ...
Philippe Taccini ...
Antonio Orlando ...
Pier Francesco Aiello ...


Young student Claudine has a dream in which the Roman student Cornelius, fascinated by the beautiful wife of the commander, attends lectures on the art of love of great Ovid. Ancient tragedy happens again in a few centuries

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy


See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 December 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Art of Love  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The production notes for this movie contain the alarming claim that "Ovid himself appears on screen". See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Clunker from a brand-name art-porn filmmaker
12 January 2015 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Walerian Borowczyk has established an unenviable niche for himself in film history by applying the creativity of an avant-garde artist to the mundane world of sex movies. ARS AMANDI is one of his most pretentious and least successful efforts (so it's no surprise that I'm the first to waste my breath reviewing it on IMDb).

Film festival habitués and serious fans of erotica know the drill: when a respected filmmaker shoots a dirty film it's art: no others need apply for that sort of upgrade. And so Borowczyk, like several other top- notch international talents on the festival circuit/merry-go-round like Miklos Jancso, Nagisa Oshima, Marco Bellocchio, Catherine Breillat and even a wannabe like Michael Winterbottom, get mucho attention and even a few hard-earned bucks when they take a dip (or sometimes wallow) in explicit sexual content.

This very poorly made sort-of movie based on the poetry of Ovid is truly a chore to watch, as Borowczyk's beautiful imagery and palpable eroticism from earlier works like LA BETE and IMMORAL TALES have been replaced by what plays like out-takes from some misguided Jancso historical/political/porn co-production. I will try to impart some of the flavor of what WB has failed to coalesce into a coherent whole, but you have to sit through this baby (preferably trapped in a real-life movie theater) to properly appreciate its ineptness.

SPOILERS ALERT: BIggest problem is Borowcyzk's use of a hoary framing device which is guaranteed to annoy the viewer. After nearly an hour and a half of being trapped in Rome 8 A.D. with a confusing and confused bunch of European actors (some talented, some not), WB springs on us a present- day "it was only a dream" wakeup call for heroine Marina Pierro in modern Italy, driving towards the French border in her Land Rover (yes, a device usually relegated to grade-Z horror movies or THE WIZARD OF OZ).

Until she become a modern woman who like Dorothy remembers all those characters from her previous life/adventure, Pierro is basically a horny Roman wife who lusts after young stud Cornelius (Philippe Taccini, an actor who like Pierro never made the grade in show biz), whilst her soldier hubby, the gifted Michele Placido (who alternates serious assignments with exploitation films) goes to and from wars in Gaul.

Now it takes some gall for WB to cast Pasolini's prime collaborator Laura Betti as a wig- addicted mama to Placido. Other principal players include the wonderful Milena Vukotic, embarrassing as a neighbor who also has to suffer through simulated sex scenes, another failed thesp, the beautiful Simonetta Stefanelli (one-shot success in THE GODFATHER PART 2) as a pregnant neighbor, Mireille Pame, the black servant who preys to the god Priapus (definitely one of WB's favorite deities) and a cockatoo named Telefo. Since Telefo can talk he has been designated to guard (or fink on) Pierro's fidelity by a not-so-brainy Placido in what passes for WB's screenplay.

Scenes are a hodge-podge of clumsily directed and painfully low-budget horsing around with precious little of the promised sex footage. True, Pierro either delivers a private parts closeup (or a double does) for nostalgia buffs of the bushy early '70s, and WB has two very fake scenes lamely depicting (or at least alluding visually to) his favorite topic of woman/beast relations, quite a come-down from his fabulous work in this under-tilled genre with LA BETE.

I left out Massimo Girotti, whose achievements in Italian cinema are crucial, from early Visconti to prime Bertolucci. He pontificates as Ovid giving amazing misogynistic lectures on -- you guessed it, the Art of Love, until Placido is angry enough at Pierro to have his soldiers arrest him and all the ladies who follow his teachings.

Entire film has one quality image: Pierro in her glass bath framed by fish in their adjoining tank. But WB saves tons of ridiculous exposition for the Land Rover scenes, even resorting to a handy newspaper found by Placido (a priest rather than soldier in the modern "story") to tell us poor movie fans what this nonsense was really all about.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Art of Love (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: