Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Duke of Burgundy

A professor (Sidse Babett Knudsen) in butterfly studies is an engaged in a dominant/submissive relationship with one of her students (Chiara D'Anna) and gradually sees their roles starting to reverse. In an age of stale, lifeless digital filmmaking, The Duke of Burgundy is a marvel in that regard with a sumptuous and absorbing color palette while channeling female-centric fever dream drams of the 1970s (Persona and  3 Women come to mind) with a minimal plot where every scene is layered and revisited with new meaning. Although Peter Strickland's film is involving for a time, and boasts fine lead performances for such offbeat, racy material, its wheels do begin to spin as it arrives towards its destination.
*** out of ****