There is a quality I find very few films seem to have, a kind of tempo or transfixation I like to call “film as hypnotism”. Hitchcock’s Vertigo has it, Lynch’s Mulholland Drive has it, and so does this film by Bunuel. It involves trance, obsession, fixation, fascination, seduction, and a kind of taking in that leaves the viewer powerless to escape the experience of the film. It’s an amazing thing to capture.
The surrealist dichotomy between Séverine's reality and fantasy is quite unclear, but what we can be sure is that Catherine Deneuve is perfect in a classy prostitute role, providing the exact amount of sex-appeal and naivety to portray an uncomfortable housewife trying to expand her curiosity about sex.
I am rarely interested in blatant depictions of sex, what could be less inspired. Floating sensuality though I can get behind. A truly enigmatic and gorgeous depiction of our inner sex lives, one which inhabits desires and fantasies rather than just listing them. The dream-like camerawork and set and costume design are all to die in.
More like "Slut de Jour"! Is there anything cooler than a housewife-turned-prostitute dressed in classy outfits? No wonder it was such an iconic role for Deneuve's career. What I love the most about it is the depiction of a transgressive desire we all secretly have but only a few actually embrace. Séverine was a bad girl but damn was she good at it! The dream sequences and childhood flashbacks were nice too!
I have a cinematic crush on Catherine Deneuve so...I am like swooon. Plus its a great female narrative and I relate to Severin. I also LOVE that they made Severin a WOMAN in this. Like, yesss. I love the exploration of sadomasochism in this film, especially through a woman. As I am sadomsochistic. Pretty in love with this film. Its def a favorite.
It's an engaging but slightly overrated Bunuel endeavor. My issue is that it's too simple, at least to me (not trying to brag here). Basically, everything that happens after the initial rape fantasy is about the making of that fantasy, which is also why it returns to it at the end. In short, everything in the middle (especially the sound), is reconfigured in the dream. That's too simple for me especially by Bunuel.
L'incubo ritorna, ma ritorna sotto forma di piacere. Ogni volta che si sente la cocchiera, la dolce protagonista si "sblocca" e rivela il suo lato nascosto. Un film che critica la pudicità di quegli anni che Bunuel non ha paura di raccontare sotto una storia che ha poche gioie ma tanti sogni.