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Maîtresse (DVD & Blu-ray) 
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MAÎTRESSE (DVD + Blu-ray)
A film by Barbet Schroeder
When petty thief Olivier (played by a youthful Gérard Depardieu) breaks into an unassuming Parisian apartment, he inadvertently enters the world of leather-clad dominatrix Ariane (Bulle Ogier), who entertains clients in her black marble dungeon. Olivier's fascination with Ariane soon turns to love, forcing him to question his own assumptions about sex, perversion and power. Barbet Schroeder's controversial film features graphic scenes of torture and fetishism and was confined to a handful of club cinemas on its original release. Presented here fully uncut and in a new director-approved High Definition transfer, Maîtresse is a stylish love story (featuring costumes by Karl Lagerfeld) with a dark undertone.
- Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
- Domestic Masochism: Barbet Schroeder's Maîtresse (2012, 28 mins): Dr Patricia MacCormack and Edward Lamberti analyse key scenes and themes from Maîtresse
- Theatrical trailers for Maîtresse, More (1960) and The Valley (1972)
- Illustrated booklet featuring a newly commissioned essay by Dr Patricia MacCormack, a new interview with Barbet Schroeder, and the BBFC's Craig Lapper on the history of the films censorship
Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono 2.0 audio (48k/16-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (320 kbps)
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Top Customer Reviews
Its not bad, apart from having to read boring dialogue as no one bothered to do an English dub.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Bulle Ogler is seen as a blonde beauty in an upscale apartment who earns a lush living as a dominatrix in a downstairs dungeon designed by the Marquis de Sade. Her clients are rich and powerful and so, apparently, is she. That is what attracts a witless would-be burglar who becomes (in turn) her job assistant, live-in lover-protector, and soon an interfering opportunist who definitely is bad for business. He is played by a young Gerard Depardieu, a husky hunk even then. Europeans know how to treat these characters and subjects seriously and with a straight face. There's that to recommend it. There's also a scene in which the "maitresse" (mistress) nails a man's genitals to a block of wood. All in a day's work over there in Paris, France.
The ex-con cannot deal with "her career" eventually and threatens her to quit, etc. (At some point, you get the idea that the director himself really doesn't understand where the Domina is coming from.)
What started out as an interesting film with a provacative opening soon falls apart about halfway through. The writer/director seems to lose the narrative thread of the film and things degenerate with the ex-con wanting to buy the dominitrix out from her protection (or pimp, for want of a better word). Then, we watch as the ex-con -- in a totally unrelated and gratuitous foray -- goes to a slaughterhouse, where a real horse is shown killed onscreen, strung up and stabbed and drained of blood as it kicks helplessly (this image will upset you for weeks, believe me! [I feel like it's my duty to WARN YOU!]). And the film gets even worse from there and finally ends up with a ridiculous car accident and the two main characters laughing like idiots. Totally stupid (like the writer/director suddenly ran out of ideas).
Believe me, I really WANTED to like this movie. I ignored the negative reviews, because there are so few "real" films on this subject. But I was sorely disappointed and depressed by it.
If you need to see this film, rent it. It's definitely a "one view" film at best; and it will be a film that will leave you angry (because the horse scene) and vaguely disgusted -- and generally bummed out. Too bad.
"Moonlight Whispers" is a much better, respectful treatment of S/M, a film with real characters and nuance -- one that seeks to explore real psychological (and sexual orientation) questions, while also being a beautiful film to watch. That film deserves to be seen -- and a wider audience!
The dialogue is natural and intriguing. The characters are played with empathy. This movie is very elegant yet done with a very quiescent sense of realism. This quiescence ,in my opinion, contributes to the feel of the film, but to conventional film viewers it may seem a bit slow at times.
The best feature of this product is actually the interview with Barbet Schroeder the director. He is charming and once you get a taste for his style you will become much more discriminating in your movie critiques.
This item is worth it for collectors, and film connoisseurs.
I was never a big fan of Gérard Depardieu, but found him to be wonderfully engaging in his role as Olivier, a young thief content to be kept by a somewhat older, much more industrious working woman, Ariane (played by Bulle Ogier). If this were an American movie, Olivier would be driven crazy by Ariane's profession, but Olivier accepts her job, enjoys the comfortable lifestyle it affords him, and occasionally helps Ariane out on her gigs, with sometimes hilarious results.
The only obstacle thwarting the course of their true love is a mysterious man who calls Ariane on her private line, to whom she pays a good bit of her earnings. Olivier finally takes some bumbling initiative in finding and confronting this man, with mixed results. He doesn't understand what he's getting himself into, because Ariane has not been completely honest with him.
In the end, though, persistence pays off, and Olivier and Ariane end up together, happy, and only slightly damaged.
I highly recommend this to fans of Depardieu and those interested in the career of director Barbet Schroeder. My only disappointment in the DVD is that there is only one special feature, a delightful interview with Schroder.
Warning: this film contains explicit scenes showing S/M sessions featuring cross-dressing, shoe fetishism, nudity, whipping, genital torture and ecstasy. There is also a very distressing scene of animal slaughter which puts the S/M scenes into perspective.