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Isaach De Bankolé,
Shane and June Brown are an American couple honeymooning in Paris in an effort to nurture their new life together, a life complicated by Shane's mysterious and frequent visits to a medical clinic where cutting edge studies of the human libido are undertaken. When Shane seeks out a self-exiled expert in the field, he happens upon the doctor's wife, another victim of the same malady. She has become so dangerous and emotionally paralyzed by the condition that her husband imprisons her by day in their home. It is Shane's chance encounter with this woman that triggers an event so cataclysmic and shocking it might just lead him to rediscover the tranquility he seeks to restore for himself and his new bride.
Here we have a French horror film, directed by Claire Denis. I found this film by chance and decided to check it out for no other reason than curiosity. Most of the films I watch I've either known about for years or discovered through a "paper trail" as it were. It's films like Trouble Every Day that sap all the energy out of me when writing a review I'm teetering very slowly on the edge of exclusively reviewing older films rather than traipsing through a land of the absolute garbage that's been released in the past decade. It's a good thing this came out 9 years ago, otherwise the statement I made about French cinema in a recent review would be rendered useless.
The synopsis of the film is about a recently married American couple who are honey-mooning in Paris. The husband is stricken with a strange sexual desire to inflict damage during intimacy. The affects, on a more grand scale, mirror those of cannibalistic tendencies. He seeks treatment from an expert in the field that may be of use to him; the doctor's wife also suffers from this strange desire but on a more severe level.
Horror films within the last decade have tried so desperately to create their own niche in the market, and more often than not, end up creating a sub-genre of try-too-hards. Speaking on a more personal level, I am an artist. I am appreciative of various mediums and I can respect a film's artistic vision if it actually has one. There has to be some level of structure involved on all fronts, otherwise the talent pool becomes cluttered with a mass of idiots who like to pretend they're something they aren't. I don't know Claire Denis as a human being face to face but it's apparent that the message of her film is obscure and "artistic" just for the sake of being that way; there are few things on this planet that annoy me greater than that.
The people that praised this film for its direction are probably the same people that live in a delusional fairyland where untalented directors can release vomit for wholesale and be praised for it simultaneously. This one is for the birds. If you'd like to watch a film that doesn't pretend to be sophisticated, watch 1984's The Company of Wolves a film that utilizes terrific use of symbolism as a result of REAL talent not slapdash ridiculousness produced by a team of wannabe's.
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