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Patrice Chereau

La Reine Margot * Patrice Chéreau * 1994

Too long ago I saw this film and wanted to get it on video or dvd. For some reason it took very long before it was available and then it was very expensive. Now the film was on the Belgian public television, so I suppose an affordable dvd version will follow soon.

“La Reine Margot” is an historic film like “Elizabeth” and also the stories of these two films are a bit akin. There is a struggle between the Catholic and Protestant Christian camps and this struggle is bloody. The film plays in France and the young Catholic beauty Margot is forced to marry a Protestant king to bring peace in France. On the day of the marriage the Catholics kill almost every protestant present in Paris in a violent massacre and after this the lives of all the main characters comes under threat. Conspiries of Catholics, Protestants, but even within the camps and families themselves make life a living hell for everyone.

All this results in am impressive and rather grim film which is not only great to watch, but also a descent history lesson.

Intimacy * Patrice Chéreau * 2000

From the director of the brilliant “La Reine Margot” comes this “explicit and confronting” film. I suppose that most of you have heard of it. However it got good critics almost allover, some people thought it to be ‘too explicit’ for a ‘normal’ film, while what you hear about it most is that it is a ‘sophisticated sexfilm’. So what is my own conclusion? “Intimacy” is very much like ‘that other’ film “Une Laison Pornographique”. The story for both films is about two people who meet solely for sex. In the French film the two people first grow towards eachother but later split, in “Intimacy” Claire is looking for nothing more than sex while Jay goes out to find who Claire is in normal life. Not too interesting stories in either film, so what about that other thing? Maybe “Intimacy” is a bit more explicit, but only in the sense that you sometimes see genitals which is unlike most other ‘normal’ films, but there isn’t that much sex in it in general and I suppose if you expect that or are looking for that, you better focus your attention on another kind of film.
Overall I had hoped “Intimacy” to be more beautiful and also a bit more of content would have been nice.