- Summary: At the dawn of the twentieth century, in a brothel in Paris, a prostitute's face is scarred and becomes a tragic smile. Life at the brothel is isolated from the outside world and it revolves around the "laughing lady". (Haute et Court Films)
- Director: Bertrand Bonello
- Genre(s): Drama
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80The filmmaker gives full vent to his romanticism by staging an End of the Epoch party, with tearful sex workers dancing to "Nights in White Satin," then steps on the mood with yet another farewell fête, commemorating Bastille Day. The prisoners are free - to walk the streets. Ironic, no?
Feb 9, 201280Like Walter Benjamin, Bonello associates this insularity with both innocence and the 19th century; and when, in the final sequence of House of Pleasures, he dispenses with the security exuded by these subjects, the effect is like being shaken violently out of a dream.
60Throughout the film there is an abundance of sumptuously photographed flesh on view. But House of Pleasures is not an erotic stimulant so much as a slow-moving, increasingly tragic and claustrophobic operatic pageant set almost entirely in the brothel.