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Romance X (1999)

Related: romantic love - Catherine Breillat - unsimulated sex in mainstream films - French cinema - 1999

Caroline Ducey in
Romance (1999) - Catherine Breillat [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Like many of Breillat's films Romance X is as much a literary/philosophical essay as it is a film. It deals with love, relationships, pregnancy, the sex wars and power. The two bondage scenes are among the best I have ever seen. Catherine Breillat was one of THE find of 2000s. [Nov 2003]

I did not really enjoy this movie, and yet I recommend it. Why? Because I think it's on to something interesting. Movies buy the whole romantic package, lock, stock and barrel. People look great, fall in love and have wonderful sex. Even intelligent characters in smart movies all seem to think more or less the same way while they're in the sack. Erogenous autopilot takes over. Here is a movie about a woman who never stops thinking. That may not be as good for you as it is for her. --Roger Ebert, 1999


Romance (Romance X) is a 1999 French movie written and directed by Catherine Breillat. It stars Caroline Ducey, pornography actor Rocco Siffredi, Sagamore Stévenin and François Berleand. It contains several sex scenes that appear to have been unsimulated.

Marie is a schoolteacher who is deeply in love with her husband who does not have sex with her. She explores increasingly risky sexual encounters with other men, including a BDSM relationship with a member of staff who works at the same school.

The film claims to be artistic and so may be seen as different from ordinary pornography. It was shown in mainstream cinemas in Europe. In the U.S., the original version is unrated, and an edited version received an R rating. In March 2004, the unedited film was broadcast late at night on German public TV, leading to some protests. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%281999_movie%29 [Dec 2004]

The scene with Rocco

Indiewire: Were there any difficult moments in shooting your film, especially for actress Caroline Ducey?

Breillat: Actually, no. There was only one scene that was difficult for Caroline Ducey. It was the scene with Rocco. Otherwise, Caroline was very strong throughout the shoot. The filming, however, was very hard on me. I carried a strong moral obligation, especially toward Caroline, who had to work very hard to believe in what I was asking her to do. She not only had to overcome the sense of limitation that came from the social stigma attached to the subject of the movie, but also her own self-censorship. She needed to get to a place where she could be free from what in my view is a mental and emotional cage that poisons our sexuality. Once there, she knew that there wouldn't and there couldn't be anything obscene in the role and character she played, no matter what she did. She understood that to make it work, she had to get beyond her own censorship, and do something altogether different from what one normally expects in the movies. On the one hand, she had to be the consummate actress; on the other hand, she needed to feel confident in giving in to the sexuality that I was trying to capture. -- Catherine Breillat in http://www.indiewire.com/people/int_Breillat_Catheri_2A616.html

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