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.
Borowczyk’s first sin? By some critical accounts, this film is when Boro went too far with his soft-core, erotic provocations, leaving behind the “art” in favor of exploitation. That didn’t stop it being a huge hit in France (surprise!), but with the result of dangerous damage to Boro’s reputation.
Borowczyk's engagement w/ the erotic balances a sense of the absurd libidinal excesses and profanation of symbols required for human beings to bother to engage in sexual coupling, without sacrificing a genuine awe in the face of carnal beauty. This thing is a comedy. It is about folly. But we are swept up into it. We are horny. We are delirious before the prone object of desire. We are glorious, salivating slaves.
One of those 1970's films that could play at the arthouse cinema one week, and the porn cinema the next! I loved that. I need to see more Borowczyk...if I can find it. MUBI...more 70's arthouse porn, please?
More like - violating tales.. "Eroticism,sex, is one of the most moral parts of life.Eroticism does not kill,exterminate,encourage evil,lead to crime." Well,there's nothing moral about rape.Rape is not erotic and should not be shown as a part of erotica.
First segment one star, I wish the girl was more of an Immoral Women style violent ingenue and that she pushed that obnoxious boy into the sea. Second one star, third (repeated in The Beast) one, fourth three, fifth two. Easily some of Borowczyk's worst efforts, should have been just a full length version of the lady Bathory story.
complete 5 part version including 'The Beast' (later turned into it's own separate feature) Borowczyk gives us a world of vice and taboo in the immoral tales. Exceptional production values married with erotica with nary a fetish left unturned; seduction; rape; exploration; masturbation; bestiality; lesbianism; incest; sacrilege....pick your poison. Not for all tastes but merits rewards.
I mean, what is there NOT to like about Picasso's daughter playing the part of the most prolific female murderer in history, being stripped naked by 3 dozen other naked women, then bathing herself in virginal blood? Best Easter of my life. A Borowczyk retrospective during Passover AND Easter? Ingenious. Daniel Bird is a hero. The eyes of Borowczyk. The eyes...
Beautiful art direction in this arthouse erotic film, though I feel it hasn't aged that well. I couldn't really find the balance between the aesthetically pleasing and the pervy shots, but I think Borowczyk was an honest and talented filmmaker. I loved the first story.