10th: The Story of O
When a movie is made out of a book that caused immediate scandal and uproar, you can expect something different. The Story of O could be characterized in many ways, but subtle won`t be one of them.
It contains a quite extreme one sided view on femininity, but thanks to its seductive side, it successfully avoids being too offensive. “Story of O” is definitely a more luxuriant movie than we`re used to and it tells a hard story, but does so in a gentle way, so despite the heavy S&M content, bottom line the story could be categorized as a romance.
What`s the story?
The film is about a young girl called O and her quest to become the woman a certain man wants and needs, that is a practitioner of S&M. The philosophy behind the lines here is that women find ecstasy only by submitting to men – something feminists nowadays would bite your head off for claiming out loud.
So she falls in love with a man that believes in this doctrine and is willing to undergo any training in order to satisfy him – it sounds almost romantic, doesn`t it? The tables eventually turn in O`s favor, as she conquers the affections of Sir Stephen, who initially views women as no more important than a pebble found on the beach.
What if I’m not into S&M?
This movie doesn`t strictly address to S&M fans and practitioners. It`s more valuable for its psychological approach on love than the BDSM stuff.
The idea that this movie promotes about love is that if you truly love someone or want to love someone, you should be willing to do everything for him, even change yourself to such degree that you might not recognize yourself.
It`s like the proof of true love. But this kind of gets into conflict with the idea that if you really love someone, you accept them the way they are and not want to change them? So which one of these is the right path? Probably the right answer is: the one that makes you happy.
Story of O gathers together some of the worst possible stereotypes and proofs of inequality between men and women, but despite that it`s still a beautiful movie to watch.
That is no doubt thanks to the exotic atmosphere of the setting, the peculiar rustic elegance of the manor where O is initiated in this lifestyle, and also to Corinne Clery’s beauty and sensuality, not to mention her alluring body as well.
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9th: Original Sin
Further on, we are moving closer to our days, which will probably make us all feel relieved, since now if you google some actress you like, you don`t have to go through the whole “oh my god it`s been 30 years since the movie” shock.
Having reunited two titans of contemporary actors, this movie has been inexplicably avoided. Maybe it was because it didn`t quite fit into the typical Hollywood hype machine of that time or it simply didn`t match the viewers` demand for Romance and Drama, but should you truly grant this movie the time it deserves, you will find out that it`s nearly impossible to walk away from.
“Not a love-story, but a story about love”
It is probably the plot that the audience didn`t consider worth the time, and it has become their loss. The story is set in Cuba in the late 19th Century. Luis Vargas, a wealthy Hispanic businessman comes to meet up with his mail-order bride, Julia Russell. You can probably imagined why they didn`t consider it too romantic.
Now their marriage starts off as a convenience alliance but Luis soon finds himself in love with his beautiful bride. However, when his bride suddenly goes missing, he finds out he ordered more than he could possibly handle.
This is not going to be an amusing pursuit after love like you might have seen in The Bounty Hunter (read more about it Here); it`s intense, it`s full of suspense and it will keep you on pins and needles waiting for the outcome.
What do I mean by titans?
So earlier the word “titan” has been mentioned and you might be able to recognize from the cover of the movie who the word refers to. Banderas and Jolie have never been more glamorous and gritty; their intertwining in the movie is what gives the story sense. Often Banderas` talents are grossly underrated, pretty much like this movie all together.
You can clearly see Vargas` love and passion surrounding him like a fog. And who would`ve been fitter to stir this kind of emotions into our Latin lover than Angelina Jolie and her mysterious, sensual mail-ordered character.
Our fulsome-lipped goddess managed to successfully bring out every aspect of Bonnie`s struggle to achieve what she desired. When you watch those two together, you believe it all. You believe they are truly in love and that they`d be able to do anything in order to be together. It`s simply and utterly fabulous.
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What is clear from the start about this movie is that it`s not something easy for everyone to watch. The content of the story kind of puts off a lot of prospective viewers, but what you should keep in mind is that the story doesn`t take any sides in it, it simply narrates the actions of the male protagonist.
Adrian Lyne has created a much better movie adaptation of Lolita than the 1962 version, following the original plot closely and with little change. Mesmerizing, obsessive, erotic, beautiful, this is the Lolita Lyne chose to show us.
Let’s talk about the story
The movie is mainly made out of flashbacks, first portraying Humbert as a teenager and his first love, Annabel and his getting his heart broken. Years later, when he first sees Lolita, he feels taken back into his past and comes to consider Lolita the reincarnation of his past love.
It becomes clear from the start that Humbert`s intention are anything but good. He even goes as far as to marry the mother, in order to keep the daughter close to him. Everything about this story screams pedophilia, but the movie, just like the novel does not promote this kind of relationships.
The book simply tells the story and the movie adaptation brings it to life under our eyes. Seeing his intoxication take over his mind is what makes it so fascinating, and Irons` version of Humbert is heartbreaking.
He is tortured and helpless, constantly trying to buy her affection. Throughout the movie, the essential questions remain the same: “Who was in control of the situation? Humbert or Lolita? Who is guiltier for the affair?”
Here is why you should watch it
It`s hard to promote a movie that treats a delicate subject such as this, but sometimes we should feel encouraged to watch something not for the plot, but for the actors playing in it. The painful struggle if beautifully rendered by its actors.
You`ve already heard a few details about Jeremy Irons` adaptation of a vulnerable, weak-minded father. He makes it look almost as if he was the victim to Lolita’s wit.
To wrap the whole matter up, if you have prepared stones to throw at this movie, please take a moment to read until the end and spare your screen a most dreadful late. When filming, they had taken Swain being underage into consideration and an adult double replaced her in all of the “hot” scenes.
The book remains still of upmost controversy and it`s only natural that movie should spark up as much argument.
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7th: Nine 1/2 Weeks
Thirty years before Fifty Shades of Grey made rampage on the female population, there was another risqué love story that shocked the audiences. Now, if you watch and compare them, you`ll notice a couple of details that are quite similar.
Starting from the beginning, we know there`s is a “trial period”. In 50 Shades there was a contract for this, but Nine 1/2 Weeks has a more direct approach.
The title refers to the duration of the relationship between John Gray – what were the odds of a name coincidence? – and Elizabeth McGraw. He works on Wall Street and she is an art gallery employee. This Gray might not be as rich and eccentric as the current one, but he is still just as interesting to watch.
What makes this movie so great is the story that is so simple, so dramatic and visual; it constantly offers you close ups on the lovers, but at the same time it doesn`t seem intrusive or vulgar.
Spot the differences
John and Elisabeth first come into contact into a grocery shop and later on again in a street market, nothing to fancy isn`t it? John wins her heart when he gifts her an expensive scarf she desired very badly but couldn`t afford.
Shortly after that they start dating and Elisabeth gets subjected to some of John`s sexual peculiarities, but she finds him rather loving and playful, compared to Anastasia`s constant struggle to determine what kind of character her boyfriend had.
But this isn`t a fairytale type of S&M love relationship; Elisabeth soon gets confused by John`s refusal to meet her friends. The mystery doesn`t solve any easier in this case either for Elisabeth, since not even rummaging through his stuff can clarify the situation for her.
And taking into consideration that no naughty deed goes unpunished, when John confronts her about what she did, he declares he will punish her – how familiar does this sound?
What`s so good about it?
It’s incredibly thought-provoking. It shows off a different type of sexual relationship, one that not everyone is familiar with. Compared to today`s standards this movie will most probably be considered mild, but it contains a certain touch of mystique.
The movie lacks in the dialogue department, but that only strengths it by allowing you to make what you will of it. It provokes our imagination to explore our own inner desires.
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