Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Bertolucci Plaisir

I came across a 'Guilt Pleasure' article by Bernardo Bertolucci from the July / August 1996 issue of Film Comment. In it he writes about the films he likes. One of the films was Le Plaisir by Max Ophuls. As you will see his response is a peculiar form of pleasure.

My wife took me to see it nine years ago in Paris, and after the first episode, "The Masque," I was so excited that I got a fever and couldn't stay for the other two episodes. Two or three years later, in a little cinema in Rome called Film Studio... I went again and saw the first part and then the second, "Le Maison Tellier," in which the brothel closes so that all the hookers can go to he Holy Communion of the daughter of one of them. And it was so beautiful I couldn't stand it - it was too moving. And again, I had a fever and had to leave the theatre. A few years later I could see the third episode, "La Modele," which is devastating.
Le Plaisir is one of the least known of late Ophuls works but just as beautiful as La Ronde or The Earnings of Madame de.... Most will have seen it by now if they have seen the other two. But if not make sure to see it. And, just to be safe, have some aspirin on hand so you can enjoy it in one sitting.

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