The Duke of Burgundy Review

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 6.36.12 PM    From Star Wars to a Peter Strickland film, that is the way my forum works, and seeing this little film popping up in many of the best of the year lists this year, I decided to watch it and share my review with my small amount of readers. First of all I must mention the slick cinematography in this film, the use of focus, and the beautiful images that evoked sensuality on their own. As I just mentioned this is a very sensual and subdued film which is the reason it didn’t break out into the mainstream as it focuses on lesbian lovers who are conflicted about dominance. Of course, the theme of dominance is taken to extremities and we explore the dark abyss that their complicated relationship represents. But, apart from being really well acted and being one of those movies you can pause at any moment and get a beautiful picture if you were to take a screenshot, The Duke of Burgundy has a clear artistic flair to it most clearly noticeable with its use of repetition. Being repetitive is a huge problem for many films and doesn’t work unless you’ve got a director like Ingmar Bergman behind the lens, but what Peter Strickland was able to do by repeating events and switching perspectives or changing the tone of voice or gesture the actress made during the scene made every repeated scene so much more and equally as important as any other scene in the movie. I must also mention what Strickland was able to do with the ambience of this film is Oscar-worthy if they had an Oscar for that, because by combining his unique cinematographic vision, Cat’s Eyes beautiful music, and the chilling score we are presented with one of the most uncanny mundane settings I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. With all that said I cannot negate The Duke of Burgundy to be anything short of exceptional, but I don’t know if I’d ever find myself watching it again, leading me to rank it as a bold directorial effort that lands an 82 out of 100 in my ranking system.

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