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London Film Festival Review: The Duke of Burgundy

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★★★★★

Wow, this is weird. A couple of years ago Peter Strickland gave us Berberian Sound Studio, a surreal drama about a dubbing and sound expert working on an Italian horror film. Here he offers us a strange erotic tale of two women (Borgen’s Sidse Babett Knudsen and lesser known actor Chiara D’Anna) living in a wood-panelled atmospheric house who use role-play to spice up their sex life.

When they are not doing this, they are researching the behaviours of moths and attend bizarre meetings where women sit and listen to lectures (along with some strange mannequins dotted around them) about behaviours of different species of the aforementioned animal.  

For those who like creepy, gothic stories with a surreal undertone this will be like a whole new brand of cinematic heroine. It’s addictive, intoxicating and entirely all-consuming. There is also a delicious and wickedly dark humorous edge to it. Though I accept it may leave some scratching their heads, I absolutely loved it. I’m desperate to see it again.

The Duke of Burgundy (2014) is showing as part of the BFI London Film Festival this October. Watch a clip below:

 




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