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EROTIKON

Czechoslovakia, 1929 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Gustav Machaty)

Director: Gustav Machaty

A seldom seen silent gem, Erotikon is an earli­er work in the same lyrical quartet on love and eros as Gustav Machaty's more widely known Ecstasy. Though very different, its explicit­ly erotic theme and portrayal of a complex mod­ern heroine make it a definite forerunner and a truly groundbreaking film in the early history of erotic cinema.

As an adherent of Czech Modernism, the potency of Gustav Machaty's signature style had an immediate impact on audiences of the day and remains remarkably fresh even when viewed in the context of contemporary cinema.

Redrawing the parameters of acceptable screen sensuality with his liberating Modernist eye, he won both praise and condemnation, Erotikon offers a subtle and even sly analysis of male and female relationships. The film scrutinis­es the consequences of a night of unbridled pas­sion between a provincial station-master's daughter and a Prague playboy (who is forced to stay the night after missing his train), examined within the structures of a more-or-less conven­tional moral tale that pits country innocence against city decadence. Machaty's flair for stylised eroticism, and the heroine's insistent flaunting of sexual mores even after having been sent off to have her illegitimate child-she remains sympathetic throughout this saga of temptation downfall and redemption-suffuses the film with a tense confrontational sensuality.

See also...

ECSTASY

... ... A landmark in the history of the erotic film genre, Ecstasy has been known more for the scandal it provoked rather than as a fascinating and definitive work of Czech modernism. ... ... ... More »

Here Are No Butterflies

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The Bagpipes Play

Almost forgotten people's songs and dances of Bohemia performed by the younger generation. ... More »

The Scented Panther

An episode in a serial about two little bears, in which one of the bears falls in love with their playmate, a panther-who is really a kitten. ... More »

Last Stone

A bitter animated joke about the frustration of being an artist in pay of the bureaucracy. ... More »

OLD MAN MOTOR CAR

It started at the turn of the century. In those days the first cycles were launched on the roads, cycles "which went under their own steam even uphill". These were the first motorcycles and soon ... More »

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