Monday, August 14, 2017
Review of 'The Duke of Burgundy'
They genuinely love each other, but the love is eaten up and destroyed by the 'submissive'partner's need to turn every act of intimacy into theatre. She more or less forces the 'dominant' partner to perform acts that she clearly finds horrible, including pissing in the other's mouth and locking her into a trunk at night. There is a strange, symbolic sub-text in that both the women, and many others in the neighbourhood, are lepidopterists, and there is a lot of footage of butterflies and moths. The Duke of Burgundy of the title is a butterfly.
The film looks beautiful, though not at all sexually arousing; it's filmed in Hungary, and the countryside is at once ravishing and unfamiliar. There are some weird scenes in the local butterfly collectors institute (one of which features some panning shots where some members of the audience are manikins), and the credits include one for perfume.
Watched via Chromestream from my linux laptop and Chromecast, the film having been sourced from an informal distribution network.