The Loss of Sexual Innocence

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Figgis's long nurtured compendium of linked autobiographical stories sees him break for experimental ground. Framed by an inversion of the tale of Adam and Eve set in his childhood home of East Africa, it depicts episodes in the life of Nic (blue-remembered '50s Carlisle streets; Rhys-Meyers having his first sexual experiences in '60s Newcastle; in the present, Sands making documentaries in Tunisia) to weave a tapestry of memories, insights and reflections. It's a fascinating, brave, teeming inventory, notebook and memoir which, despite occasional melancholy episodes, mostly invokes the spirit of Godard in its restless, risk-taking energy. In many ways it reads as a child's lament, something echoed by the emotive use of solo piano and, in the childhood/adolescent sequences, by the saturated colour effects. Style is driven by content. The endgame of Nic's marriage is shot entirely from outside the wintry window of the farmhouse home; and his meeting with enigmatic twin females (Burrows) is imbued with Kieslowskian mystery.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mike Figgis
Screenwriter: Mike Figgis
Cast: Julian Sands
Saffron Burrows
Stefano Dionisi
Kelly MacDonald
Gina McKee
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Bernard Hill
Rossy de Palma
Red Mullet Mike Figgis
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