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Maîtresse (1976) - Barbet Schroeder
Related: female domination - BDSM in mainstream film - Barbet Schroeder - 1976 - film
Maitresse (1976) - Barbet Schroeder [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Maitresse is a 1976 French movie directed by Barbet Schroeder and starring Bulle Ogier and Gerard Depardieu in an early role.
The film provoked controversy in the United Kingdom and the United States because of its graphic depictions of sado-masochistic behaviour.
Olivier (Depardieu) is a small-time crook. He and a friend happen to meet a woman, Ariane (Ogier) whose plumbing needs to be fixed. They fix the pipes and learn that the landlord downstairs is away. They take the opportunity to burgle him. However they discover that in fact downstairs Ariane has a torture chamber - she is working as a professional dominatrix. Olivier, at Ariane's request, helps her with her work and slowly becomes obsessed with her but struggles with her sado-masochistic activities. Olivier tries to understand and take control of Ariane, who he believes is scared in her job. However as their love blossoms, their natural roles of dominant and submissive cannot be overcome.
Release in the United Kingdom
Maitresse was first considered for release by the British Board of Film Classification in 1976. It was banned from release, with the Board's examiner stating that the film was "miles in excess of anything we have released in this field". This quote itself led the film to achieve a certain level of notoriety. In 1981 the film was resubmitted. Following 4 mins and 47 seconds of cuts from the most graphic scenes, the film was released with an X certificate. In 2003, the film was submitted for a third time and, following a relaxation of guidelines, passed at the 18 certificate without cuts.
The film was rated X in the United States. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%EEtresse [May 2005]
Amazon reviewDrifter 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
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