Duke of Burgundy plunges deep into the frailty of love and S&M as lush, evocative, retro Euro-sexploitation film — a film review

IFC always has independent films that push boundaries and strive to re-define a genre,they are provocative and original. I guess you can say that about many art house films that come out of festivals as winners. This one,” Duke of Burgundy,” looks rather interesting, despite the fact that it shares a similar concept as “50 shades”. I have a feeling, after watching the trailer and reading reviews, that this is definitely the more intriguing and complex out of the two.

Independent Ethos

duke 1sheetIt’s funny that the 50 Shades of Grey movie will hit the multiplex on the same day as The Duke of Burgundy enters select art house theaters. I haven’t seen 50 Shades, but there’s no way it can present as complex a picture of a relationship between a sadist and a masochist than The Duke of Burgundy. Director Peter Strickland, who also wrote the script, presents a bold vision of S&M that not only tests the limits of its value in a relationship between an amorous couple, but he makes the couple women. He heightens the relationship further by placing them in a world only populated by women (the title actually refers to a variation of a genus of butterfly, but there is no “Duke” in the film, per se). Furthermore, Strickland also adopts a cinematic style that recalls early 1970s Euro sexploitation films like those by Jesús…

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