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2,062 Ratings

Immoral Tales

Contes immoraux

Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
France, Hungary, 1973
Drama, History, LGBT+


The film is split into four erotic themed stories: The Tide, Philosopher Thérèse, Countess Báthory and Lucrezia Borgia, which respectively involve the loss of virginity, masturbation, bloodlust and incest.

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Immoral Tales Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
Eroticism doesn’t just give him a theme; rather, it constitutes the form, the sensory surface of the films. It is in the heightened, tactile sensuality achieved through the combination of image and sound (when a breast rubs against a netted piece of fabric; when a bucolic, sunny field turns into an abrupt, rocky landscape beaten by the wind)… Here is a filmmaker who made eroticism into a guiding aesthetic principle, and believed that this erotic experience had a sublime value for the viewer.
January 19, 2016
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A pearly study of fluids and skin, with Borowczyk forcing himself to switch from sex to death for the punchline, the great painter’s daughter becoming an object d’art in a vat of thick blood after having disapproved of the girls’ salacious sketches on lavatory walls.
December 27, 2007
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Nudity reaches its pinnacle in the third episode at a sinister Hungarian bathhouse, and the movie’s curtain call is a stripped-down spectacle of three-way incest between the pope and his son and daughter scored to blaring church a cappella. That Immoral Tales gradually siphons out narrative until all that’s left is a stylized sex scene might be a helpful hint toward Borowczyk’s real predilections, but then again, the film remains obstinate in its prioritization of sex over story throughout.
December 05, 2014
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