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On first sight, the Mage (John Symes) is nothing more than the owner of
a sex club, where the most normal and respectable citizens come to live
out their secret (but utterly harmless) sexual kinks. But there's a
certain aura to the Mage that puts him in a league all of his own, he
shows an almost haunting understanding to those who come to him, gives
them the feeling that what they are doing is right, and neither judges nor
exploits his subjects.
Paul (Nik Spencer) is Mage's perfect sidekick:
Sure, he's fascinated by Mage like all the others but doesn't worship him
like his subjects tend to, he doesn't leech off the Mage like most others
would - sure, he doesn't mind giving a hand (and more) at the Mage's sex
parties, but wouldn't mind if they stopped the very next day. Furthermore,
after too much time with the Mage and his kinky family, he always needs
some time out, as he's not totally in tune with the Mage's world of kink.
And yet, Paul doesn't mind to take a hit for the Mage, and has to do so
repeatedly when jealous husbands find out about the Mage's place ...
day, the husband of the Mage's most loyal subject (Sarah Dunn) shows up at
the Mage's place when Paul is not around, and he stabs the Mage to death
in a fit of jealousy, putting everything to a permanent halt.
the Mage's death has left Paul better off than ever, because the Mage had
left anything he had to Paul - and Paul decides to turn a new leaf: He
sells the Mage's old house of sin, takes the money and buys a place
for himself, where he wants to run a respectable business, with no funny
stuff or anything ... but he soon has to find out that's impossible to
him, because ht eMage's aura has followed him around, and before you know
it, the kinky crowd has moved in with him, has started accepting him as
their new mage, and Paul is throwing kinkier parties than the Mage ever
has - and girls from all over the country have come to worship him. But
believe it or not, this is not what Paul wanted, the Mage's shoes are a
size or two too big for him to fit, and he knows it, and he isn't even too
much into the sex that comes with the responsibility.
It all leads to
tragedy when a girl Paul has rejected kills herself, and power over life
and death of others is nothing he has ever wanted, so he takes the only
way out he can think of - suicide ... assisted suicide because he doesn't
feel strong enough to kill himself. But when letting someone help you kill
yourself, isn't he really just supporting someone's kink yet again?
unusual expedition into the world of kink that treats its subject in a
very unsensationalist way, instead offers insight from interesting points
of view. The film's very subtle narrative approach to its subject matter
is perfectly mirrored in its directorial effort: The camera never shies
away from naked bodies of course, as they are an integral part of the
plot, but doesn't linger and lose the actual narrative out of sight. The
story itself is told in a commendably unexcited way, yet not without being
exciting all the same, which gives the whole thing an atmospheric quality
all of its own.