Romance

Romance

4.2 5
Director: Catherine Breillat

Cast: Caroline Ducey, Sagamore Stévenin, François Berléand

     
 

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Catherine Breillat's erotic drama Romance comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The French soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence on this release. Trimark has done little moreSee more details below

Overview

Catherine Breillat's erotic drama Romance comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The French soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence on this release. Trimark has done little more than issue a pedestrian DVD of this interesting film. This disc is good enough, but everything about it could be better.Like Nagisa Oshima's erotic masterpiece In the Realm of the Senses (1976), this film's shockingly graphic depiction of sex blurs the line between art and pornography. Marie (Caroline Ducey) is unfulfilled by her relationship with Paul (Sagamore Stévenin), her narcissistic male model boyfriend, who refuses to show her any kind of physical affection, much less make love to her. Frustrated, she decides to take matters into her own hands, and she finds one night of tenderness and passion in the arms of Paolo, a man she met in a bar, played by Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi. Later, she is seduced by an older man, Robert (François Berléand), who introduces her to bondage and sadomasochism. As she allows herself to be bound, gagged, and forced into bizarre contortions, her flirtation with the wild side pushes her into increasingly frightening and degrading situations. Yet, like Catherine Deneuve's Sévérine in Belle de jour (1967), after each tryst she returns to her emotionally remote boyfriend as if nothing happened. One night, taken by Marie's renewed vitality, Paul holds her and begins to make love to her. Although he selfishly withdraws halfway through and casts her aside, he manages to impregnate her; after he proposes, Marie begins to feel society's constraints on her newly liberated sexuality, and she eventually decides to take violent action to salvage it. Unlike most sexually explicit works, the film is expressed from the female perspective. Director Catherine Breillat places the viewer inside Marie's mind through the camera's point-of-view, which in one scene lingers lovingly on Siffredi's camera-friendly anatomy, and through Marie's voice-overs, which provide access to her private thoughts. Brought to life by Ducey's tour-de-force performance, Romance is a confrontational yet emotional work that is not easy to forget. The film premiered at the 1999 Rotterdam Film Festival and was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
If ever a film de-eroticized romance, Catherine Breilliat's Romance is the one. A stark, austere portrait of one woman's masochistic sexual journeys, this bizarre drama is best interpreted as a kind of cerebral fantasy. To acknowledge that the events occur in a dream state of philosophical inquiry refuses any kind of literal analysis based on realism. The fact that Marie (Caroline Ducey) is a mere schoolteacher with a bourgeois lifestyle is just one example of the many improbabilities. However, when viewed as a kind of exposed secret diary, Romance becomes a frighteningly honest look inside the mind of a woman questioning her own sexual experiences. Far removed from the posturing and posing of a macho sexual adventurer (male or female), Marie's experiences are emotionally raw and uniquely personal. The explicit nudity and sex scenes are consistently interpreted from Marie's confused perspective, culminating in a fantastic visual construction of the mother/whore paradox. This brutal vulnerability naturally lends itself to unevenness in tone, alternating between wickedly funny absurdities to dangerously sad situations. Even with a tear-stained face, Marie reflects on her position with a critical eye and sharply detached wit. The unexpected ending is a bold act of defiance, with self-destruction eventually leading to the heroine's triumph. While difficult to watch for audiences expecting their titillation needs to be met, Romance remains totally unforgettable, with a shock ending that makes its impact even more brash.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2000
UPC:
0031398724933
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
NR
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[stereo]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
6,615

Special Features

Dolby Stereo; Widescreen version; Interactive menus; Scene access; French, Spanish, & English subtitles; French language tracks

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Scene Index
0. Scene Index
1. Matador [3:02]
2. Cheating [3:32]
3. Cage [5:58]
4. Indifferent [2:26]
5. Passion [4:16]
6. Delicious [3:16]
7. Had [3:36]
8. Seduction [2:56]
9. Disgusting [8:33]
10. Caress [4:11]
11. Yield [4:37]
12. Desire [4:41]
13. Domination [7:07]
14. Beautiful [3:45]
15. Painful [3:37]
16. Dream [2:21]
17. Moist [3:10]
18. Equipment [6:07]
19. Power Trip [3:45]
20. Meat [4:05]
21. Fabulous [5:24]
22. Chasing [2:37]
23. Even [2:45]
24. End Credits [2:30]

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