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A French language movie from Belgian director Henri Xhonneux and French surrealist artist Roland Topor. Based on the life and works of the Marquis de Sade. It's a mixture of live-action and stop-motion animation, with all the actors wearing life-like animal masks, to reflect their characters. Much of the animation involves the Marquis having long conversations with his huge metre long talking penis with a human face.
The penis is called Colin, and has a personality of his own, and a philosophy on life. He relates stories of debauchery to the Marquis, which form the basis for his stories. The stories and thus the movie make for a bizarre and sometimes unnerving sex comedy. That due to the nature of the masks, the sex scene veer uncomfortably close to being representations of bestiality. With their often highly sexualised human bodies, and animal heads. Making for an absurd piece of slightly disturbing cinema.
In the true style of Topor, it has darkly playful silliness at times. Giving a nod to the tradition of French farce, by playwrights likes Molière, the Comédie-Française, and the satirical elements of de Sade's own work. The movie won;t be to everyone's tastes, and an understanding of French revolutionary period France will help to understand much of the surreal symbolism in the movie. Though much of it doesn't take a genius work out. When for example the Marquis de Sade is persuaded by his self-conscious cock to screw a "crack" in the wall of the Bastille. Overall, a fun, irreverent piece of European art-house cinema, that doesn't take itself too seriously. And well worth a watch, by anyone interested in the weirder side of European cinema, and the cinematic work of surrealists like Topor.