Belle de Jour (1967)

Belle de Jour (1967), directed by Luis Buñuel.

After a year of marriage, Catherine Deneuve still cannot make love to her husband, an understanding and very patient doctor. Despite lack of practical experience, she has a rich masochistic fantasy life and secretly starts working as a prostitute in the afternoons. Of course. A young gangster becomes obsessed with her and it does not end well.

We can't always separate her dream life from her work at the bordello, where she explores the "nearer and farther shores of unnatural juncture" * _. She is mysterious and unreadable; we don't know what she is thinking or what she wants. It's the old story with men and women.

At first it seems she cannot have sexual pleasure without being forced, but then she just becomes a sex addict. Or maybe she's in love with the gangster.

No (well, very little) actual nudity and the sex takes place off frame or in the next room. Decades ago I saw a showing of this with an crowd of unhappy college kids who were throwing things at the screen, displeased at watching a French film without nudity. They were also disgusted by the gangster's poor firearm handling skills.

According to the wikipedia article, the title literally means "daylily", which is also slang for a prostitute who works during the day.

The DVD is 4:3 letterboxed, but retains the 1.66 original aspect ratio.

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