Collections privées (Private Collections) (1979)




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Three short films are gathered together in Collections Privées. The first is L'Ile Aux Sirenes (Island of the Sirens), directed by Just Jaeckin. In the story, a wealthy lout who is out yachting is washed overboard and winds up on an island where his sexual whims are catered to by four beautiful women. He is having a truly paradisiacal time until he discovers what they really relish about him. The second is Le Labyrinthe d'Herbes, directed by Shuji Terayama. The prostitute mother of the young man in this story used to sing him to sleep as an infant and toddler with a certain song. Now that he is approaching sexual maturity, he is obsessed by the need to find out what the words were to her song. The last film included is L'Armoire, directed by Walerian Borowczyk. In it, a Folies-Bergère dancer rents herself out to a wealthy and jaded Parisian who is shocked to discover where she has hidden her child in order to accommodate his sexual pleasure.


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Two French and one Japanese director contribute to this peculiar compilation of stories as they don't have much relation. Just Jaeckin's opener "Island of the Sirens" takes a surprising turn after a wealthy man shipwrecks on an island populated by four half-naked women, one of whom happens to be the stunning Laura Gemser, and this seeming paradise turns into a nightmare. Shuji Terayama's "The Grass Labyrinth" unfolds slowly but contains many arresting visuals. The resolution was something of a letdown following a collection of very bizarre dream sequences. Finally, Walerian Borowczyk's adaptation of Guy de Maupassant's "L'Armoire" is straightforward and a little too sterile. As far as short film compilations go, you could easily find worse.

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