British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's ...
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British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's bar. Later he meets her crippled American husband Oscar, who tells him their story. While living in Paris for several years trying to be a writer, he becomes obsessed with a woman he met by chance on a bus. He tracks her down and they start a steamy love affair. Soon Oscar finds himself enslaved body and soul by her love, and continues to tell Nigel the details of this relationship in various stages over a number of visits to Oscar's cabin. Written by
Sami Al-Taher <email@example.com>
Extremely well made, extremely well acted, extremely intense and disturbing, and extremely conscious of areas of the sexual psyche that I'd never seen so honestly explored in a movie. According to Polanski, it is not love and hate which are opposite, but love and indifference. Obsessive sex gives way, at least between the two lovers of Bitter Moon, to a hatred as savage as cold-blooded murder or all-out war.
These extremities of love and hate work themselves out in a game of power and manipulation, and it remains the only vehicle by which these two can merge with one another so as to lose both their independence and the rest of their inhibitions and illusions. In the end, they become so bound up in their mutual need that the sex itself is no longer central. They might as well be prisoners lashed forever to the same stake, learning actually to enjoy the various torments that the other is able to inflict. Freud thought similarly that all sexual love was ultimately a form of masochism--identification with a partner whom one has caused to suffer. These questions are essential as long as the blood continues to throb in us; and, whether or not we find Polanski's story credible (I do), any thinking person would recognize it as a serious attempt to define who we humans are, both as rutting mammals and as something more.
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