Opens Sat. Jan. 14, 2012 at 7 p.m.
(R) 2 Hrs. 5 Min. (Digital) In French with English subtitles
For his fifth film, Bertrand Bonello (Tiresea) depicts a highly cinematic and atmospheric look at the final days of a turn of the century brothel when much of the Parisian sex trade was confined to grand maisons, populated by elegant madams and vetted clientele. Within L’Apollonide’s walls, Bonello tracks the lives of the Madam and close to a dozen girls. Despite the fact that desire often mixes with danger and disease rears its ugly head, the film is filled with moments of intimacy and camaraderie amongst the girls. Using a bag of cinematic techniques which include split screen, time shifts and a modern soundtrack, Bonello has made a provocative and beautiful film on not only the world’s oldest profession but also a commentary on history as remembered by art and literature. An official selection of the 2011 Cannes and Toronto International film festivals. “Visually ravishing, troublingly seductive.” – Karina Longworth, LA Weekly “Hypnotic. The heavy candlelit chiaroscuro paints the women as mobile Renoirs, Degases and Manets. The soundtrack, punctuated with raw soul songs, also uses “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues and excerpts from “La Bohème” for maximum contrast and dramatic effect.” – New York Times “A gorgeously filmed portrait of a bygone era, with painstaking attention to period detail.” – New York Post