Catherine Deneuve stars as the wealthy, porcelain perfect newlywed Severine, whose desires her husband is unwilling to satisfy. Seeking gratification elsewhere Severine is kidnapped, tied to a tree, and whipped. Although it seems this may have been a fantasy, Severine’s subsequent visits to a brothel, where she offers her services, become a full realisation of her suppressed desires and her need to both control and be controlled. Provocative and outrageous, Belle de Jour remains one of Buñuel’s most acutely observed critiques of the bourgeoisie in what was a career-long preoccupation with the collision between depravity and elegance.
“Belle de Jour has the almost daunting, fragile flawlessness of the perfect crystal - a staggering, commanding piece of film-making.” Penelope Houston, The Spectator, November 1967.
- Newlyn Filmhouse
France/Italy 1967 100m subtitles