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House of Pleasures

Film/Video

Images courtesy of IFC Films
House of Pleasures
Bertrand Bonello, 2011
Thu, Feb 2, 2012 7 PM
“Visually ravishing…troublingly seductive.”—Karina Longworth, Village Voice

A highly stylized look at the final days of a turn-of-the-century brothel in Paris, House of Pleasures immerses the audience in this long-gone sensual world full of 19th-century boudoirs, opium, drawing rooms, and champagne. The camaraderie of the ladies—stuck between the madam and the clientele—is emphasized and the day-to-day reality of their lives is portrayed alongside lushly atmospheric flourishes (including a glorious sequence anachronistically set to the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin”). Director Bertrand Bonello has listed influences for the film ranging from Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai to Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. The result is one of the boldest films of the year. (125 mins., 35mm)