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L'Histoire de Juliette (1797) - Marquis de Sade


Juliette was written by the Marquis de Sade and published in 1797, and charts the exploits of Justine's sister. Whilst Justine - whose tale is told in Justine, or the Misfortunes Of Virtue - was a virtuous woman who consequently encountered nothing but despair and abuse, Juliette is an amoral nymphomaniac.

Juliette is raised in a convent, but at the age of 13 she is seduced by a woman who immediately explains that morality, religion and other such concepts are meaningless. There are plenty of similar philosophical rants during the book, all attacking the ideas of God, morals, remorse, love, etc, the overall conclusion being that the only aim in life is "to enjoy oneself at no matter whose expense." Juliette takes this to the extreme and manages to murder her way through a huge number of people, including various family members and friends.

During the novel, which follows Juliette through the ages of 13 to about 30, the wanton anti-heroine engages in virtually every form of depravity and encounters a series of like-minded libertines, such as the ferocious Clairwil, whose main passion is in murdering young men, and Saint Fond, a 50-year-old multi-millionaire who commits incest with his daughter, murders his father, tortures young girls to death on a daily basis and even plots an ambitious scheme to provoke a famine that will wipe out half the population of France.

Significantly, as with most of de Sade's work, it is the female protagonists who are the most interesting and colourful. The male characters are generally quite two-dimensional and often absurdly over-the-top, such as the Russian giant Minski, who lives in a huge castle in the middle of nowhere, with dungeons full of hundreds of women and children. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Histoire_de_Juliette [Jan 2005]

Juliette (1970) - Jess Franco

Soledad Miranda in Juliette (1975)
image sourced here.

Plot Outline:
A woman is seducing men only to kill them, and afterwards confessing about her crimes at church. A man, witnessing her visits to the church, feels attracted to her and boards an appartment near hers and begins to watch her secretly.

Lead actress Soledad Miranda was killed in a car crash after shooting only around 40 minutes' worth of footage and the project had to remain unfinished. Director Jesus Franco still has the existing footage which could apparently be used to make an abridged version of the film, and eventually plans to release it as part of a tribute to Miranda. --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368819 [Mar 2005]

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