One from the heart. One from the glands. One for posterity, provided we consider a theoretical posterity of the most sordid and fallen kind. Put together in hardscrabble style as though it were a film that demanded to be made before the technical acumen of those who made it fully matured. Amateur film in the best sense. It is fantasy, certainly. But fantasy that leaves room for things both dark and eminently sober.
This film must have been SO subversive in the 50s! Genet builds genuine sexual tension in simple scenes as sharing a cigarette or looking through a door: it makes you feel the smoke coming out of the screen and surrounding these black and white scenes. I think this is as dirty as silent films can get: a portrait of desire with a lot of art in it.
That cigarette scene filled my mind with a flow of inspiration. The first half is perfection, very poetic in its intense atmosphere, but I don't like much the way it ends so I'm giving a 4 star rating.
Two prisoners in need of connection & communion but separated by a wall find erotic, imaginative ways to communicate and enact their yearnings - kind of prophesies the internet (!)... A poetic ode penned in physical theatre to forbidden love
Cinematography by Jacques Natteau. "Desire" list. The most inevitable of movies in a list of this kind. Whatever the trend, orientation or taste, in fact this is a compelling film in what eroticism and physical desire concerns, and its repression, that has always tried to reduce its expression. Who were André Reybaz, Java, Coco le Martiniquais and Lucien Sénémaud? Peons of a desire as compelling as cinema.
Or, how many homo-erotic blowjob metaphors can we fit into a 50s French black&white short silent art film. Bold, but rather sexually crass and highly lurid. I watched it after Gaspar Noe's LOVE and found this to be the more pornographic. Compositions and dream like fantasy with the flowers (cue Todd Haynes' Poison) are exquisite, however.
65/100 - Decent (2.5)