AKA: Le Pornographe
Directed by: Bertrand Bonello
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud (Jacques Laurent), Jérémie Renier (Joseph – Son), Dominique Blanc (Jeanne – Wife), Alice Houri (Monika – Joseph’s girlfriend), Laurent Lucas (Minor role as assistant)
Country: France, European Cinema
Language: French (English Subtitles)
Genres: Porno-Themed, Depressing, Unsimulated Sex
Plot – Spoilers:
A well-known director of porno films Jacques Laurent hasn’t made a film in years. He gets back into the business when debts and a growing dissatisfaction with his existence lead him back to the one thing he knows to do.
Though Laurent’s wife is supportive, he is riddled with shame over his profession and even tried to hide it from his son Joseph for years. At some point Joseph walked out and Laurent links it to his discovery that dad was a porno man.
Laurent always fancied himself as a sort of porno artist, and while his artistry is questionable, there is no denying the dignity he attempts to carry himself and his work with, which makes him unwittingly comical at times.
Now back in the business, Laurent finds he’s a misfit, and in between attempting to shoot his new movie, he reaches out to Joseph who himself is struggling with internal philosophical and political conflicts.
Le Pornographe might be a bit too slow for some, but it captures quite well the self-denial, shame and tragic doom of trying to fight stereotypes of the porn profession. Especially by those who consider themselves artists first.