Anatole Dauman for Argos Films
directed by Walerian Borowczyk
starring Lise Danvers, Fabrice Luchini, Charlotte Alexandra, Paloma Picasso, Pascale Christophe, Florence Bellamy, Jacopo Berinizi, Lorenzo Berinizi, Philippe Desboeuf, Nicole Karen, Tomas Hnevsa, Mathieu Rivolier, Robert Capia, Gerard Tcherka, Kjell Gustavsson
written by Walerian Borowczyk, story for sement The Tide by André Pieyre de Mandiargues, music by Maurice Leroux, production design by Walerian Borowczyk
Four tales about eroticism - and the joys and misfortunes that come
with it - through the ages:
- The Tide: Being 20 and thus four years older than his cousin
Julie (Lise Danvers), that gives André (Fabrice Luchini) authority
over her, and thus when he lures her out onto a strip of beach cut off
from the main land at high tide, she follows him no questions asked,
and satisfies him orally when they indeed are cut off because he asks
her to. But his motives are of more than just a sexual manner ...
- Thérèse Philosophe: Just because she has come later than
told, young Thérèse (Charlotte Alexandra) is locked into her room
for the rest of the day, even though being in church has delayed her
to begin with. But she's at an age when she starts to feel her own
sexuality, and pretty much everything in her room turns her on
without end ...
- Erzsebet Bathory: Countess Bathory (Paloma Picasso) collects
pretty young girls, preferably virgins in every village she passes
through ... to pamper them, let them shower in her mansion, let them
prance around the premises in the nude, to heat them up sexually -
just to then mingle with them and get them to murder one another and
then bathe in their blood for eternal youth. But the Countess has a
betrayer (Pascale Christophe) in her own ranks who eventually costs
her her life ...
- Lucrezia Borgia: For a life of unspeakable wealth and
debauchery with her brother Cesare (Lorenzo Berinizi) and her father
the Pope (Jacopo Berinizi), Lucreza Borgia (Florence Bellamy) is even
willing to sacrifice her own lover, a man of high moral standards ...
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Above all else, Immoral Tales is a film that looks and feels
incredibly beautiful and sensual: Without being over-the-top or
in-your-face, the set designs (by director Borowczyk himself) invariably
underline the mood of the respective scenes, the camera paints incredibly
beautiful pictures that nevertheless help the story rather than be there
for their own sake, the film's relaxed pace is just right to stimulate the
audience to just the right level, and while the nudity is indeed copious,
it somehow never seems gratuitous, and the sex finds the right balance
between showing everything and alluding to it to keep things interesting
and avoiding the audience to feel cheated. Plus, the girls are uniformly
not only great lookers, they also look their respective parts and their
performaces are at least adequate.
Now sure one might say that, with the possible exception of The Tide,
the stories the film tries to tell are rather feeble and sex-centered -
and one would be right about this even - but in all stories (including The
Tide) eroticism is the story's core, so in that respect, the point is
moot. Of course, if one wants to see a film about, well, sex, is left to
anybody's own judgment - but my guess is whoever-it-is will be turned on
by the film regardless of preconceived opinion!!!