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Belle de jour (1967) - Luis Buñuel

Related: Catherine Deneuve - eroticism in mainstream film - sadomasochism in mainstream film - surrealist film - film - Luis Buñuel - 1967

Belle de jour (1967) - Luis Buñuel [Amazon.com]


  • Belle de jour (1967) - Luis Buñuel [Amazon.com]

    Belle de jour is a 1967 French film starring Catherine Deneuve. The film was directed by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel. It is based on the 1928 novel of the same name by Joseph Kessel.

    Séverine Serizy is a young, beautiful Paris housewife who has masochistic daydream fantasies about elaborate floggings and bondage. She is married to a doctor and loves him, but cannot share physical intimacy with him. A male friend mentions a high-class brothel to Séverine, and soon she secretly tries to work there during the afternoon (using the pseudonym Belle de jour). The brothel is run by Madame Anais, played by Geneviève Page. Séverine will only work up until five o'clock each day, returning to her blissfully unaware husband in the evening. Her husband, Pierre, is played by Jean Sorel. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_de_jour [Jul 2006]

    Amazon review

    A young Paris housewife, Séverine, grows bored with her stable husband. When she learns of the presence of a high-class brothel in her neighborhood, she quietly goes to work there--but only during the day, until five o'clock in the afternoon. This sublime 1967 film is one of the latter-day masterpieces of the Spanish-born director Luis Buñuel, whose career forms one of the greatest and boldest arcs in cinema. By the time of Belle de jour, Buñuel had become almost completely deadpan in his style, which not only leaves the motivation of Séverine a mystery (despite a few flashbacks to degradations of her youth), but also casts the entire plot in doubt. An old surrealist from the 1920s (when his first classic, Un chien andalou, was made in collaboration with Salvador Dali), Buñuel suggests that what we see may be real, or simply Séverine's imagination. Because he was the least pretentious of directors, Buñuel keeps his material playful, wicked, yet cutting. As Séverine, the impossibly lovely Catherine Deneuve uses her cool demeanor to great effect--she never breaks her deadpan, either. In 1995, after having been out of official circulation for years, Belle de Jour was re-released in America and became an unexpected art-house hit. --Robert Horton, amazon.com

    In the opening scene of this film, Catherine Deneuve is taken out into the woods with her husband. He orders two other men to tie her to a tree, strip her to the waist, and whip her on the back with riding whips. A good, but very brief scene that turns out to be taking place in Deneuve's mind.

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