Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Jess Franco's Eugenie (1970)

Jess Franco has made several moves based on works by the Marquis de Sade, including his 1970 film Eugenie... the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion, inspired by de Sade’s Philosophy in the Boudoir. A young woman is lured to an island owned by an older woman and her brother. The older woman seduces her, and them, under the influence of various drugs, she is introduced to the pleasures and pains of sexual produced inspired by de Sade’s writings. This is a very erotic film, but it’s also a serious film, and a serious attempt to grapple with some of de Sade’s ideas. If you disapprove of sex and nudity you’ll find much to offend you, by then if such things offend you really shouldn’t be watching a Jess Franco movie anyway. At his best Franco has the ability to combine eroticism, art and ideas, and this is one of his most successful films. Among the extras on the DVD is a rather good documentary, in which Christopher Lee (perhaps surprisingly in view of Lee’s somewhat conservative moral views) expresses a good deal of admiration for Franco as a film-maker. Incidentally this movie is not to be confused with another of Franco's movies of the same period, entitled Eugenie de Sade (also a rather good movie).

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