Immoral Tales (1974)

aka Contes immoraux
Article 3740 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-29-2011
Posting Date: 11-10-2011
Directed by Walerian Borowczyk
Featuring Lise Danvers, Fabrice Luchini, Charlotte Alexandra
Country: France
What it is: The title tells it all

Four tales of illicit sex are told. In the first, a man devises a plot to seduce his younger cousin. In the second, a woman is locked in a room and has fantasies. In the third, Countess Bathory kills virgins and bathes in their blood to regain her youth. In the fourth, Lucrezia Borgia and her brother have an encounter with their father, the Pope.

So this is what a Walerian Borowczyk movie is like! I take it that the title has a double meaning; not only are the stories about debauched, illicit and kinky sex, but they don’t seem to have any point, or “moral” to them. In fact, I’m not sure you can even call some of these segments “tales”; they seem rather plotless. Only the sequence on Countess Bathory has any fantastic content to it. I do have to take note that Borowczyk does seem to like to keep the dialogue to a minimum; in fact, I’m not sure whether Lucrezia Borgia utters a word of dialogue during her segment, though she does giggle on occasion, and she does have plenty of what we call in theatre “stage business”. Since this is supposed to be an art film of sorts, I suppose I’m supposed to get something out of it beyond what I’d get in your average porn film; if ever figure out what it is, I’ll let you know.

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