The Pornographer


Time Out says

A long, dark boogie-night of the soul - trust the French to turn porno into a rumination on the male menopause! Anyone hoping for jollies will be climbing the walls within minutes - especially since the British censor has seen fit to protect us from 11 seconds of the blue movie Jacques (Léaud) is directing. The decision is regrettable, not least because it's probably the most eloquent scene in the film. A contemporary of the New Wave, Jacques aspires to make a purely artistic fuck-film, but his producer, disgusted (or bored?) by the performers' Bressonian restraint, intervenes mid-coitus to pep up the action. Fired and burnt out, Jacques retires home to lick his wounds, but finds little solace. For reasons he can't articulate, he's out of love with his wife. A subplot involving a meeting with estranged son Joseph (Rénier) turns out to be little more than a condescending putdown with trite romantic strings attached. Solemn and pretentious, the film is more or less redeemed by Léaud's incontrovertibly morose presence. Carrying a paunch like a ghost pregnancy and looking several generations seedier than he did even in Irma Vep, Truffaut's old alter ego makes Bonello's arty angst all too real.

By: TCh


Release details

111 mins

Cast and crew

Bertrand Bonello
Bertrand Bonello
Jean-Pierre Léaud
Jérémie Rénier
Dominique Blanc
Catherine Mouchet
Thibault de Montalembert
André Marcon
Alice Houri
Laurent Lucas
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