Friday, October 17, 2008

A pornographic affair

Une liaison pornographique; Romantic erotic drama, France/ Switzerland/ Belgium/ Luxembourg, 1999; D: Frédéric Fonteyne, S: Nathalie Baye, Sergi López, Jacques Viala

She is middle aged and tells her psychiatrist about her "pornographic Affair" that occurred a year ago: in some porn magazine, she placed an add in which she invited a man/stranger for anonymous intercourse in hotel. He, a Spanish man, replies and fulfils all his erotic fantasies with her. Still, even though the couple wanted to stay distanced, it slowly started to develop an emotional attachment. She admits she fell in love with him which surprises him pleasantly. But in the end they admit they relationship doesn't have a future so they break up.

Gentle and warm, more romantic than erotic drama "A Pornographic Affair" is superior to "Intimacy" and "Romance", thematically similar movies released around the same time in France, while director Frederic Fonteyne confidently turns the "light" story into an ambitious movie. Even though "Affair" only has as much erotic moments as let's say "Police Academy 7" has humor, it's still more suited for the mature, adult audience with an open mind because their nameless two middle-aged protagonists, a woman and a man, openly talk about their passions. Interestingly, the movie never shows the couple in the room when they are performing their secret erotic fantasy, but it shows them in bed when they decide to "make love" for the first time. Even though it's flawed, it's a very competent movie and Nathalie Baye is great in the leading role. At the same time, it crafted one of the most moving moments in the history of the erotic genre, the scene where she admits that she fell in love with him, upon which he starts to cry.


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