The Duke of Burgundy (2/26)

“By turns kinky, dryly comic and compellingly surreal — as well as boasting gorgeous, gothic cinematography and an enveloping score by orchestral pop duo Cat’s Eyes — The Duke of Burgundy is, like U.K. filmmaker Peter Strickland’s previous work Berberian Sound Studio, a richly immersive sensory experience. Taking its title from a rare species of butterfly, the film follows the increasingly intimate relationship between wealthy amateur butterfly scientist Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, of acclaimed Danish television drama Borgen) and her newly hired housekeeper Evelyn (Berberian‘s Chiara D’Anna). As Cynthia’s demands begin to betray a sado-masochistic streak, Evelyn becomes less a domestic servant than an outright sex slave, submitting to her progressive humiliations with a surprising relish. In another director’s hands, this material might easily have tipped into the schlocky or the severe. Strickland, however, once again demonstrates a marvellous gift for modulating tone, pitching the tenor of his film in a strange, beguiling register somewhere between Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour and Joseph Losey’s The Servant.” (Toronto Int’l Film Festival)
Dir. Peter Strickland, 2014, DCP, 104 min.

Watch the trailer for “The Duke of Burgundy”!
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