Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings, they are in debt. They face problems of pregnancy, ... See full summary »
Tiresia is at the same time woman and man, according to Greek Mythology. Here, Tiresia is a Brazilian transexual living with her brother in the outskirts of Paris. Terranova, an admirer of ... See full summary »
Jacques Laurent made pornographic films in the 1970's and '80's, but had put that aside for 20 years. His artistic ideas, born of the '60's counter-culture, had elevated the entire genre. ... See full summary »
Lord Gregory Hutton takes his beautiful young wife Eleanore on a business trip to the Far East for their honeymoon. They stay at the house of Lin, a young local owner of a silk farm and ... See full summary »
The siblings Joseph and Chloé are 12 and have just been placed on another children's home. For years they were on the same or separate homes or on the run together. Chloé is an autist. She ... See full summary »
Summer in a new suburb outside Paris. Nothing to do but look at the ceiling. Marie, Anne and Floriane are 15. Their paths cross in the corridors at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a sudden, dramatic appearance.
Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings, they are in debt. They face problems of pregnancy, opium, age, and violent clients. One reads sociology at her peril. Occasionally, a client talks of marriage. There are also friendships and affection among the women. The madam is in a dispute with her landlord and calls on influential clients to help. There's a picnic one summer day, a wake, and an evening in masks. Have they expectations? In a coda, we watch a street scene in contemporary Paris. Written by
The casting says "Clotilde" but her name is misspelled (as "Clothilde", rather a common error in France) in the movie when we see the lines of name/debt written by the matron. See more »
A character says he's been to the inauguration ceremony of the Paris Metro. After that there is a scene where we hear fireworks for Bastille Day (14 July). The opening of the Paris Metro (Line 1) was on 19 July 1900, five days after Bastille Day. See more »
"Compassionate declaration of love to women and cinema..."
French screenwriter and director Bertrand Bonello's fifth feature film which he also wrote, scored and co-produced with Kristina Larsen is a French production. It tells the story of numerous prostitutes living and working at a Parisian brothel run by Madame Marie-France near the end of the 19th century. Most of the women who lives at the mansion get along fine with their customers and one of them is evolving a relationship with a regular customer. Clotilde, known as the Jewess, shares her dreams with this man and one night after having been away for two weeks, he returns to the house of tolerance. Clotilde tells the man of a dream she has had about him and plays along to fulfill his desires, but during the session he cut's her with a knife. Following the horrific incident, Clotilde is left with a disfigured face, loses many of her customers and is given the name, the woman who laughs.
Subtly and acutely directed by Bertrand Bonello, this visually distinct interior period drama which is narrated from the point of view of the prostitutes, draws a detailed, involving and intimate portrayal of their ritualistic lives at a brothel, during the twilight and the dawn of the 20th century in Paris, France. With a stringent narrative structure and while depicting several minor studies of character, this finely paced, somewhat surreal and historic study of prostitution presents a closed world marked by socializing, boredom, decadence, sadness and fantasies, where the women shares their experiences with each other, and creates a reverent depiction of their strong and private unification. Notable for its brilliant set decoration by Alain Guffroy, costume design by Anaïs Romand and the picturesque cinematography by Josée Deshaies, this is a low-keyed, melancholic, symbolic, darkly romantic and dreamlike tale of a descending utopia.
The efficient score by Bertrand Bonello emphasizes the mysterious and poignant atmosphere in this grotesque, tangible and fictional chamber piece, which is impelled and reinforced by the understated acting performances from a cast consisting of both professional and non-professional actors and actresses such as French actress Hafsia Herzi, French actress Céline Sallette, Italian actress Jasmine Trinca, French actress Adèle Haenel, French actress Esther Garrel, French actress, screenwriter and director Noémie Lvovsky, French actor, screenwriter and director Xavier Beauvois and Alice Barnole and Iliana Zabeth in their debut feature film roles. A compassionate declaration of love to women and cinema, which was screened in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and which gained the César Award for Best Costume Design Anaïs Romand at the 37th César Awards in 2012.
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