The Duke of Burgundy (2014) | A wildly perverse tale about love and submission

The Duke of Burgundy

In an unnamed European town, seemingly populated only by women, the cruel and vindictive lepidopterist, Cynthia (Borgen‘s Sidse Babett Knudsen) inflicts daily sadistic humiliations upon her submissive lover-cum-maid, Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna). But as time goes, the pair begin to reveal themselves, and it soon becomes clear that the humiliation may not all be of Cynthia’s design…

The Duke of Burgundy

British director Peter Strickland’s follow up to his leftfield 2009 thriller Katalin Varga and his 2012 giallo homage Berberian Sound Studio is his strangest film to date. Sensual, shocking and steeped in atmosphere that echoes the 1970s Euro-sleaze of Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, The Duke of Burgundy is a wildly perverse exploration of the rituals of S&M in which Strickland turns the viewer into a ‘peeping Tom’ on the activities of these kinky lovers.

Breathtakingly visual, featuring painterly autumn-hued production design, and complemented by an evocative soundtrack from Cat’s Eyes (aka Faris Badwan of The Horrors and Rachel Zeffira), this is a twisted tale indeed, but one that might also test your patience as much as Cythnia tests the limits of poor Evelyn… Oh, and if your wondering the film’s title refers to a rare British butterfly (Hamearis lucina).

The Duke of Burgundy gets its Film4 premiere in the UK on Thursday 28 April 2016 at 11.15pm, and is also available on DVD and Blu-ray from Artificial Eye

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on April 28, 2016, in British Film, Might See, Might-See, Psychological thriller, Thriller, World Cinema and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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