"Above all TDOB invokes the art-house porn affect instantly recognizable to retro trash enthusiasts. But far from being mere pastiche or parody, the film manifests Strickland’s rigorous regard for the form and determination to both honor and elevate it. With deeply committed performances ... TDOB holds the viewer as riveted and exposed as a butterfly pinned to a board." - Steven Mears, Film Comment. 4.5 stars
No one is more demanding than a masochist, especially when total oblivion is never part of the plan. It's child's play but with higher stakes. And the look of pure titillation on Chiara D'Anna's face at the mention of a "human toilet" is priceless. In sum, Strickland successfully makes an old-fashioned soft-core with characters and substance.
A kind of film that attempts to move art forward — non-linear editing without clear borders of time, repetition as a method, interweaving sound and colour, oscillation between pure abstraction and objectivity — it is all hear, arranged with ascetic and powerful acting.
The way Strickland creates the ambience in this film is remarkable, but he does it without it making one of those plotless arthouse films. He creates a lesbian BDSM film without being male gaze-y in regards to lesbians or BDSM. Sidse Babett Knudsen is brilliant, the chemistry between the actresses is palpable, and right yes there are no males at all whatsoever in the whole film. And then there's the score. 5/5
The film has two gorgeous details: the music of Cat's Eyes and director/screenplaywriter Strickland's fascinating details of butterfies/moths right up to the end-credits. Those details transcend everything else. The camerawork and editing are noteworthy. And Ms Sisde Babett Knudsen, the Danish actress, turned out to be very interesting. This film had a Hungarian touch more than a British one, methinks.
Female sexuality is amplified in this brilliantly stylized film without men, boxed in and magnified like the insects encased in glass. The BDSM roles are likewise deconstructed, where rote and repetition betray an entrapment of desire and the power struggle between the lovers. "Oh, if we could all just say 'Pinastri' to end our torments."
Im Grunde müsste ich hin und weg sein von Peter Stricklands neuem Film (denn ich gehöre wohl doch zur Zielgruppe: Männlich, cinephil, sogar Videothekar!). Wieder unternimmt er eine Reise zurück in die Filmgeschichte. Diesmal taucht er ein in die 70er Jahre Sexploitation mit ihren billigen Sado-Maso Effekten... die ganze Rezension gibts auf cinegeek.de
(4) An exploration of the give and take which goes on within a relationship, selfless love against dutiful compromise, through the story of a sado-masochistic lesbian couple. The sado-masochism is very tasteful, the film is intelligently surreal, and I found parts of it very funny too!