Like several other French filmmakers of this era, Robbe-Grillet got away with making such an experimental, non-narrative feature by adding softcore sexploitation elements, but he doesn’t “sell out” as much to the sexploitation angle as some of his country-men like Jean Rollin or Walerian Borowzyck (which might be one of the reason his films are a lot harder to find today). There is very little straight erotic sex in this film; instead there is a kind of extreme polymorphous perversity that at times is pretty disturbing. There are A LOT of scenes of both women and female mannequins in sadomasochist/bondage poses and splattered with blood or red paint. There is also a little bit of “Lolita-ism”. The main star, Anicee Alvina, is a beautiful girl with a great body (a long, strange scene where she covers her glorious full-frontal nakedness with red paint and makes “self-portraits” by pressing herself against the white walls of her cell is especially memorable), but she was only in her late teens/early 20’s here and could certainly pass for younger, especially since Robbe-Grillet often has her dressed (when he has her dressed at all, that is) in a “baby doll” outfit or a Catholic schoolgirl uniform.
Aside from Alvina this movie doesn’t have the “name” cast of “Playing with Fire” (i.e. Sylvia Kristel, Agostina Belli). It does, however, feature an early appearance by Isabelle Huppert, who is now probably THE most respected actress in France. (This is kind of like finding out that Meryl Streep was once in a softcore porno “art” film early in her career, but then Huppert has always been a much more daring actress than Streep). I’m not sure which character Huppert plays exactly–I think she’s one the protagonist’s school-mates since she was would have been even younger than Alvina back then.
Very interesting film–I’d recommend it to any fan of arty, weird, and/or perverted films.
Glissements progressifs du plaisir
Deslizamentos Progressivos do Prazer
Das beständige Gleiten der Begierde
Spostamenti progressivi del piacere
Caminhos do prazer
Постепенные изменения удовольствия
Deslizamientos progresivos del placer
Lustans gradvisa glidningar
Successive Slidings of Pleasure