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Ten young people ( boys and girls) at the age at which all is possible. They meet, they love, they choose. The film comes and goes between all those people, revealing their anguish, their ... See full summary »
Cynthia inherits her aunt's large estate and moves in. She reads her aunt's diary and finds out (and graphically imagines) how she was taught in the ways of love by her gardener in 1901 at ... See full summary »
An Italian film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's classic erotic novel. After a crippling injury leaves her husband impotent, Lady Chatterly is torn between her love for her husband and her ... See full summary »
In an airport hotel on the outskirts of Paris, a Silicon Valley engineer abruptly chucks his job, breaks things off with his wife, and holes up in his room. Soon, fate draws him and a young French maid together.
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A man who is a theater director and music composer picks up a young homeless woman off the street. But as soon as she starts living with him she becomes his object of desire. Soon his ... See full summary »
Sir Clifford has returned from the Great War to his estate near Sheffield, paralyzed from the waist down. Lady Constance, his young wife, cares for him, but she's lifeless, enervated. Her physician prescribes the open air, and she finds a quiet retreat at the hut - the workplace - of Parkin, the estate's gamekeeper. The rhythms of nature awaken Connie - daffodils, pheasant chicks - and soon she and Parkin become lovers. She's now radiant. Parkin, too, opens up. Class distinctions and gender roles may be barriers to the affair becoming more. Connie's trip to France, with her father and sister, bring the lovers to a nuanced resolution. Written by
Sense and Sensuality: DH Lawrence's Masterpiece Glows in the Hands of the French!
DH Lawrence's novels may be tough to translate to the screen, so much of his writing is dependent on the words on the page as they form images of extraordinary beauty and sensuality. His novels are quintessentially British and reflect on the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization, confronting issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and human instinct. During his lifetime he was even labeled a pornographer, but that was then and now is now, and under the gifted guidance of director/writer (with Roger Bohbot and Pierre Trividic) Pascale Ferran, Lawrence's exquisite tale of sexual awakening has found what for this viewer is the finest transition of the novel to the screen.
The place is England after WW I and Sir Clifford Chatterley (Hippolyte Girardot) is the paraplegic wealthy husband of Constance/Lady Chatterley (a radiant Marina Hands). Quite apropos for the era, Constance tends to her impotent husband, does needlepoint, and takes walks to while away her boredom. On one of her walks she encounters the gamekeeper Parkin (Jean-Louis Coullo'ch), seeing a partially nude man for the first time in her life. The impact awakens her somnolent sexuality and she manages to visit Parkin daily, gradually allowing her lust to unfold. Parkin is 'below her class' but is a masculine, sensuous embodiment of everything Constance has never experienced. They slowly bond and both of them become passionately in love, finding lovemaking in Parkin's hut, in the woods, in the rain - wherever they encounter. Constance wants to have a baby and convinces Clifford that she can become impregnated and the resulting child would be 'Clifford's' by pact. Constance travels to London, the Riviera, and other ports, only to return home believing that Parkin has reclaimed his ex-wife. But there are many surprises that greet her and the manner in which the story resolves (in Ferran's hands) leaves us unsure of the future.
The film is captured amidst the beauties of the natural world - flowers, trees, springs, brooks - and these aspects of the natural world are an influential part of Constance's sexual awakening. Yes, there are scenes of complete nudity and love making but they are photographed so well by Julian Hirsch that they become an integral part of the story. The musical score by Béatrice Thiriet finds the right quality of elegance and sensuality. If there is a problem with this nearly three-hour film it is in the editing by Yann Dedet and Mathilde Muyard that takes liberties with scene transitions that prove disruptive.
But it would be hard to imagine two actors who could match the subtlety and sexual tension that Marina Hands and Jean-Louis Coullo'ch to this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful to experience DH Lawrence's story in the hands of the French crew and cast. Grady Harp
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