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The Erotic Films of Radley Metzger

theresei.jpg (3763 bytes)In the 1960's, the term 'art film' was a euphemism for some pretty raunchy pornographic films. Most of these 'grind house' films were tedious, predictable excuses to 'sex-ploit' their female stars and their ample attributes.

Into this cinematic quagmire stepped a man with a quest: Radley Metzger wanted to introduce an element of artistry to erotic films. Metzger's films are distinguished as much by their literate story lines, wild sets (and settings), beautiful cinematography and intriguing themes as they are by the amount of skin they bare.

Hailed by mainstream publications like Time ("classy") and the New York Times ("ripe with incredible color and décor and movement") it is a tip of the hat to Metzger's lasting influence that many of today's popular films are much more explicit and far less artful.

Here are six of Metzger's films; each is available on home video.


Therese and Isabelle  n_77.gif (851 bytes)

theresei.jpg (3763 bytes)This story of a burgeoning lesbian relationship between two melancholy, romantic French schoolgirls is artfully erotic, intelligently directed and gorgeously filmed. The narration is occasionally overcharged, but the acting and directing compensate for the film's minor flaws.

Little Mother  n_76.gif (851 bytes)

Marina Pinares uses her beauty to gain fame, and fame to gain power in this story inspired by the life of Eva Peron. Only the occasionally strident acting mars an honest and intelligent examination of this near-mythical figure.

The Lickerish Quartet  n_73.gif (851 bytes)

A decadent aristocratic Italian family goes to the carnival and invites a woman they believe to be a stag film star back to their villa. Reality and illusion blend in this weird and erotic romp.

Carmen, Baby  n_72.gif (851 bytes)

Inspired by the novel Carmen, this is an erotic interpretation of the tragic tale of a free spirited working girl stalked by an obsessive cop. Despite uneven acting and questionable character motivation, it's an accurate reflection of the era's values.

The Alley Cats  n_71.gif (851 bytes)

alleycat.gif (10772 bytes)A young fiancé, dissatisfied with her boyfriend's inattentiveness (and unfaithfulness) succumbs to the advances of a beautiful lesbian socialite. The sex scenes are tame, but the set design, cinematography and wink-wink nudge-nudge humour make The Alley Cats enjoyable fare.

Camille 2000  n_68.gif (851 bytes)

This futuristic take on the 1930's Greta Garbo film follows the tragic romance between a wealthy but terminally ill Italian socialite and her young lover. Director Radley Metzger's blend of sex and art is entertaining, if not always arousing.

 

 

 

 

 


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