Naked ladies and lots of paint make Judge Brett Culllum cuss at nuns!
Nuns, lesbians, and a Bond villain!
The cult erotic drama Successive Slidings of Pleasure spins a surrealistic yarn about a murderous lesbian and her captivity in the sexy convent where she is on trial for being a witch and a provocateur. There's lots of full frontal female nudity, red paint, blowing white curtains, and monastic chants.
If you want any sort of plot synopsis, this is about what I could manage: A beautiful young student is questioned by police and church authorities after her roommate is found bound and murdered. We're never sure if the woman really did the crime or merely contemplated it. Heck! It could just be an art installation, since mannequins appear quite a bit. I do know her roommate's name is Nora, yet this prisoner doesn't seem to have her own moniker. Michael Lonsdale (Hugo Drax in Moonraker) is the only actor of note here; he's the judge in this piece, who must try to make sense of everything. At least I think he is there to do that. These people may think the girl is a modern witch, a sexual deviant, a scissor-wielding murderess, or just a talented artiste who likes to imprint her naked body on white walls. There is much bondage, girl kissing, and strange music to make it all even more impressively dense and impenetrable.
Successive Slidings of Pleasure (Blu-ray) gives viewers a new transfer and a half-hour discussion with director Alaine Robbe-Grillet, who is a master of this kind of project. The grizzled veteran of erotic cinema is more than happy to discuss his methodology, going into detail of how the movie came about, funded on a bet to make a film on the cheap. He talks a lot about nudity in film, and how he used to work with more freedom than what we have now. There is much talk about natural breasts versus plastic surgery versions, and about how actresses reacted to his filming process. It's an interesting conversation well worth watching. The transfer of the feature itself looks good although there is a fair amount of grain. Colors seem cleaned up, and they are striking with the flesh tones looking great when contrasted with the blood, paint, and white. The film does look like 1974, but a pristine version of that year. Sound is French monaural with what feels like some stereo processing to make it lively. It is not tinny, but it does sound a little flat overall.
Successive Slidings of Pleasure is a kinky trip of a film that includes lots of naked French girls wandering through striking imagery. It's David Lynch does Paris and decides to go pornographic along the way, and I know there is an audience for that out there somewhere. This is sexploitation, for sure, but done in an artistic way to make the viewer feel a little less lurid. It's sleazy, but comes off as a modern art installation. Successive Slidings of Pleasure (Blu-ray) is well done in transfer and offers a nice interview with the director who explains his work in a forthright way. Fans should be thrilled! At long last you can figure out what this Freudian mess was trying to say, and enjoy it on an all new level.
A guilty pleasure to be sure.
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