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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Lady Chatterley

by Shelly S.

Starts July 10

Having read the book by D.H. Lawrence and hearing that this new version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover won five Cesar awards (French Oscars), I was excited to see this erotic romantic film. Of course I should have considered that this was French and would not be a Howard’s End sort of film. Director Pacale Ferran obviously wanted to go back in time and, in order to do so, the pacing needed to be extremely slow and that is why the film is 167 minutes and you feel every minute. It is composed of many shots of nature: here is a tree, now a bird is singing in the tree, now the wind blows through the grass, here are naked people running in the rain and so on which is why this film won best camera. While the visual aspects are ever-changing, the dialog is minimal which is astounding that it won best script. The sex scenes are also naturalistic which is actually pleasant since they are not overdone in the normal Hollywood style.

It is also no wonder that it won best costumes since the costumes were fabulous and the mansion in which the couple lives is divine. This film is set after WW1 where Lady Chatterley’s (Marina Hands) husband (Hippolyte Girardot) is a paraplegic and she is his suffering nurse-mate, a suffering which later turns out to be a mixture between lust and love. While spending time out in the nature, she finds forester Parkin (Jean-Louis Coulloc’h), who takes care of their land, very arousing. The film in its slowness gives a sense of repression and constriction which the main character feels. Although this film has its place in artistic film history, this is not a film for everyone.


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