The Duke of Burgundy

Cinema Axis

Duke of Burgundy

Writer/director Peter Strickland turns his eye to sexualityin the follow-up to his celebratedBerberian Sound Studio. The Duke of Burgundy chronicles the relationship between Cynthia (Sidse Babbett Knudsen) and Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna), lovers and entomologists who specialize in butterflies (of which the titular Duke is in fact a European species), a relationship with a strong BDSM dimension.

Strickland’s affinity for exploitation cinema of the 1970s is clear, with parallels being drawn betweenDuke and the work of Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, along with the era’s softcore strain in general. But Strickland seems less interested in the erotic than the trappings of the erotic. Which isn’t to say the film isn’tkinky: a minor plot point revolves around a device whose very function I’d prefer not to think about. There’s alsoalmost no nudity here, but plenty of high-heeled boots, false eyelashes, and elaborate lingerie. (It speaks volumes that, in…

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  1. Julia Crenian

     /  June 22, 2015

    Just wanted to say we’re so sad you’re closing. I moved out of the area many years ago but Video City was a vital part of my teens and twenties and my whole family benefited from it. Our family was called Abel Smith and my best friend Antonia Bell emailed me last night to tell me the sad news. Good luck! Best wishes, Julia (now Crenian)

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