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Drifter Olivier (Gérard Depardieu) lands in Paris and partners up on a friend's home invasion. Ostensibly they're breaking into the vacant flat of a vacationing old lady, but in reality it's the kinky dungeon of a high-class dominatrix with a powerful client list. The bearish Depardieu falls for the lithe professional, blonde Ariane (Bulle Ogier) in a black bob wig and dressed in tight leather and latex, and soon moves into her handsome flat while she plies her trade downstairs. Barbet Schroeder's kinky little slice of sexual decadence is initially titillating and erotic, but soon turns grotesque. Ariane's clients desire her domination but only as contracted: They control their abuse. The romance becomes a warped mirror of her career, Ariane allowing Olivier the appearance of control as he slides behind the driver's seat of her car, but setting the parameters of his dominance. Easygoing Olivier soon begins to simmer with frustration and jealousy, unable to comprehend her twisted world of sexual deviance, and attempts to "save" her from her lifestyle. Schroeder pushes the portrayal of S&M and bondage to the limits with graphic scenes of pain, torment, and mutilation, presented with a bland detachment that makes them all the more uncomfortable to watch. He brings that same dispassionate attitude to the romance, which results in an uninvolving yet undeniably fascinating story of a quirky affair. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Four stars out of five.
The dialogue is natural and intriguing. The characters are played with empathy. This movie is very elegant yet done with a very quiescent sense of realism. This quiescence ,in my opinion, contributes to the feel of the film, but to conventional film viewers it may seem a bit slow at times.
The best feature of this product is actually the interview with Barbet Schroeder the director. He is charming and once you get a taste for his style you will become much more discriminating in your movie critiques.
This item is worth it for collectors, and film connoisseurs.
Most recent customer reviews
Maitresse begins fairly interesting. But about 1/3 through, the energy fades. The plot slows down and seemingly takes a shallow, uneventful trip to a stupid ending. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2000
Although the subject matter is risque, the cool, unstylised camera work and authentic acting make MAITRESSE a far, far better film than others in the "adult" genre. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2000 by C Taylor
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