Monday, April 16, 2007

Les Anges Exterminateurs (The Exterminating Angels)

Continuing my French movies cycle I watched this movie… and before I continue I have to warn you readers that this is an explicit sexual movie that fluctuates between the erotic thriller and the soft porn genres, it depends on the eyes of the viewer.

Before you ask I will tell you, for me this is an erotic drama that will take you into some unspoken taboos of female sexuality.

This Jean-Claude Brisseau film tells the story of a film director Francois (Frederic Van Den Driessche) that holds a series of auditions for an erotic scene in his film and finds him drawn to explore into how “an even tiny dose of the forbidden can boost one’s capacity for pleasure” and his exploration takes him into total life destruction.

One fascinating trivia about the film’s name, that most confuse or relate to Buñuel, is that it has no specific meaning and it was Brisseau third choice of name after the two previous (Le Fruit Défendu and No Man’s Land) were already taken. I mention this as most critics and viewers tend to think that the two appearing and disappearing characters are the exterminating angels! So, my suggestion is not to worry about why the movie is called this way.

While some speculate that this film is a little autobiographical, Brisseau assures that the script was ready before the similar 2003 real-life incident he lived. So, this is entirely fiction according to Brisseau who also wrote the screenplay.

This film was shown in the 2006 Cannes Film Festival in the Director’s Fortnight chapter and generated opposite reviews from French critics, some loved it and others hate it.

My honest reaction to this movie is that it has been 30+ years since I watched a movie like this one! It reminds me of the first Emmanuelle with Sylvia Kristel, La Histoire d’O with Corinne Clery and even David Hamilton’s Bilitis. I don’t doubt there have many more movies like this in 30+ years, is just that I have not been able to watch them… and nowadays a well-done erotic drama does not stir audiences like it did in those days. I am very delighted to have found this movie that titillated all my senses... only French cinema can do movies like this one!

Yes, this is an extremely well done erotic drama that you will love or hate. But, if you are a woman with an “open mind” this movie is for you… men need no recommendation as this movie has explicit female only sex… and with this said, let me explain that this is by no means a lesbian interest movie, there is nothing lesbian in this film, except sex.

To close this review I am including a link to the Variety review written by Lisa Nesselson, I think is remarkable that a woman can write so objectively and positive about this movie. Absolutely agree with her. Variety Review


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