THE PORNOGRAPHER

1 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 108 minutes
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The title will lure people into this film, but viewers are going to be hideously disappointed. That’s putting it mildly. Because only fans of the most pretentious, dull French cinema will even remotely like this film. It’s all about Jacques (Leaud), a porn filmmaker who’s now 50 years old and trying to rebuild a relationship with his adult son (Renier), trying to figure out how to leave his wife (Blanc) and trying not to get drawn back into porn filmmaking, even though he needs the money. He would much rather do something artistic and creative … or at least build a house for himself.
From the very first scene we know we’re in trouble here–writer-director Bonello uses all of the most irritating trademarks of French cinema, from long, silent, pointless takes to jarring snippets of background music. Later on we get lots of vague hints of political and artistic sophistication. But he never bothers to coherently address the issues he raises, which could be quite compelling and interesting. The actors drift through the scenes inexplicably–we never get even the slightest idea who these people are or how they interact, as all of the main interaction is somehow left off-screen. As a result, the two sequences in which we watch porn being filmed are easily the most interesting scenes in the film! Surely it all means something, but Bonello just seems incapable of communicating to his audience in a meaningful way.



Posted on December 24, 2002 in Reviews by
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