A Dirty Story | Chicago Reader

A Dirty Story

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 cafĂ©, 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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