Anthony, a young reverend and his wife, Estella are on the way from England to Australia to minister to their flock. The bishop asks him to visit Norman, an eccentric artist prone to sexual depictions and requests that he voluntarily withdraw a controversial work call "Crucified Venus" from his show. The minister, who considers himself a progressive, is shocked at the amoral atmosphere surrounding the painter, his wife, and the three models living at his estate. The minister's wife is troubled also, and has to deal with latent sexual urges while trying to remain loyal to her husband.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the first dining room scene, as Norman leaves the table, Giddy offers Estella some tea. Moments later in the scene, as Tony is speaking, Giddy and Estella can be seen repeating the action in the background. See more »
MARCH PAST OF THE KITCHEN UTENSILS, from WASPS
Written by Ralph Vaughan Williams
J. Curwen & Sons Ltd.
Used by permission of Faber Music Limited, London
Performed by The Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Patrick Thomas
Courtesy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation See more »
A Provocative Moral Statement
While this film is often not taken seriously because of its explicit nudity, it is in fact one of the most thought-provoking commentaries on religious values I have ever seen on the screen. This film provides us with the stark contrast of the repressed preacher from London and the artist's three models in rural Australia, a throwback to Shakespeare's "Green World." The fulcrum of this contrast is the preacher's wife, being pulled in both the oppressive, "moral" direction by her upbringing and her husband and the free and expressive direction of the artist. The breathtaking cinematography and stunning visual symbolism of this film contribute to make it into a powerful attack on the Christian moral code that dominates western thinking. I have been scoffed at on more than one occasion for praising Sirens, but I left the theater questioning my own views about what is and is not moral. The fact that this film's sexual content seems to invalidate it as art in many people's eyes merely underscores the value of its message. Along with Sling Blade, Sirens to me stands as the most provocative film about morality made in the 1990's. A solid 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
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