The Story of O

Director: Just Jaeckin
Year Released: 1975
Rating: 0.5

"O" gets whisked off by lover Udo Kier to Sex Slave Camp where they have such delightful rules as "Always Expose Your Crotch" and "Never Look Your Captors in the Eye" - when she isn't being humiliated or fondled, there are also those irksome routine whippings. Pauline Reage's infamous "erotic" novel is really a grand male fantasy of pleasure and submission - Reage turns woman back into the rib-less bit of clay she once was. Is there a point? Maybe: the message I picked up was that women derive pleasure from abuse and mistreatment and most men gain more pleasure from seeing someone they love abused by others or in pain (especially rich men, considering the general air of bourgeois decadence), but the story (once your remove the nudity) is just one redundant scene of softcore monotony after the other - at the end, we're to believe that the female is on equal terms with her new lover having "branded him" with his own cigar, but if you look at it broadly, is it all worth it? Is Reage's novel - as I suspect - a gross caricature of modern love? When compared to the deranged complexity of De Sade (Justine) and Bataille (The Story of the Eye), it feels especially flimsy.