Review: ‘A l’aventure’

In cinematic enfant terrible Jean-Claude Brisseau's latest outing, "A l'aventure," the explicit eroticism of his recent oeuvre topples over into outright porn -- not because of graphic sex scenes, but rather due to a plot of unalloyed ludicrousness.

In cinematic enfant terrible Jean-Claude Brisseau’s latest outing, “A l’aventure,” the explicit eroticism of his recent oeuvre topples over into outright porn — not because of graphic sex scenes, but rather due to a plot of unalloyed ludicrousness. Granted, levitating 14th-century Flemish nuns rep an inventive step up from randy milkmen, but Brisseau’s humorless intellectual pretentions founder in very shallow waters. Skedded for an April 1 release in France, pic was pre-bought by IFC Stateside, where its Playboy-ish presentation of elegantly writhing naked women brought to ultimate orgasm, combined with disquisitions on the more cosmological Big Bang Theory, might attract horny eggheads.

Sandrine (Carole Brana), inspired by a cabbie/physicist’s park-bench lamentation over modern man’s soulless conformity, leaves her sexually deadbeat b.f. and mentally unfulfilling job. A cafe pickup leads her to a castle where a hypnotizing shrink, his ex-girlfriend, a whip-wielding, Rasputinesque “master” and the latter’s g.f. explore delights of light S&M. The master soon drops out, leaving the hunky psychiatrist to “hands-on” research in assorted three-on-ones, including a throwback to the medieval combo of religious and carnal ecstasy. Whatever happened to the joy of sex?

A l'aventure

France

Production

An IFC Films release of a Frederic Niedermayer presentation of a Moby Dick Film/La Sorciere Rouge production, in association with La Sofica Soficinema 3. Produced by Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, Francois Yon. Directed, written by Jean-Claude Brisseau.

Crew

Camera (color) Wilfrid Sempe; editor, Maria Luisa Garcia; music, Jean Musy; production designer, Garcia. Reviewed at Film Comment Selects, New York, March 4, 2009. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Carole Brana, Arnaud Binard, Nadia Chibani, Lise Bellynck, Jocelyn Quivrin, Etienne Chicot, Estelle Galarme.
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