A Dirty Story | Chicago Reader

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This late work (1977) by French filmmaker Jean Eustache revisits both the theme and the dramatic method of his 1973 masterpiece The Mother and the Whore. In its first segment a man (Michel Lonsdale) tells friends how, relaxing at a café, he took advantage of a peephole into the ladies room to become a connoisseur of female pudenda; his monologue recalls The Mother's endless male pondering of the female other. Eustache described The Mother as a painstaking re-creation of his own conversations about sex, and in like fashion, the first segment of A Dirty Story turns out to be a close dramatization of its second, in which Jean-Noel Picq tells the real-life story of the peephole. Also screening are Eustache's last two shorts, both concerned with the relationship between subject and object: in Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Delights (1979), Picq weirdly interprets the famous dystopian triptych as a work about “pleasure” and “serenity,” and in the puckish Alix's Photos, a photographer eloquently explaining her philosophy and technique ultimately reveals herself to be blind as a bat. 99 min.

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