Moving between locations in Paris and an off-season Saint Tropez, our French Valentine’s offering is as stylish and sexy as you’d hope.
A cool study of a polysexual ménage à trois between a rich lesbian, her penniless young plaything, and a handsome architect, its louche upper-class setting led the New York Times to describe it as a “deviant Dolce Vita”. But in truth, the tone is far different. With France’s answer to Alfred Hitchcock – director Claude Chabrol – behind the camera, its story is twistily plotted, shot through with an icy eroticism, and builds towards a startling climax.
A doubly twisted Valentine, watch it for the 60s chic and, above all, for the career-defining performance by dead-eyed French sexpot Stéphane Audran; adding a further layer to the simmering psycho-sexual drama, she was married to Chabrol at the time.
France/Italy 1968 Dir Claude Chabrol 99 min 16mm print courtesy of the Institut francais