La soubrette perverse (1978)


Paydirt for Benazeraf aficionados, his oblique handheld camera with its finger on the (im)pulse of the subconscious sexual drives – at once free and menacing – of its drifting cast. This is still on the soft side of X, though Benazeraf would soon move completely into hardcore, with increasingly variable results. The psychosexual moodpieces that came to dominate his work in the late 60’s are my favorite of his films, and La Soubrette perfectly captures the essence of what his detractors hate and his admirers love. He shot this in 1974, though it premiered in January of 1975. Le Bordel, from 1974, was shot in both soft and hard versions, and hardcore versions of some films from this period were released with hapless XXX inserts. La Soubrette only exists in this softcore cut.
The cast list above is from the imdb, but other sources list credits that vary slightly. Frederique Barral is uncredited on the imdb, but this was among a clutch of classic Eurotic films she made in just the space of a few years, working with everyone from Lucien Hustaix and Jean-Francois Davy to Lasse Braun. This was Sylvia Bourdon’s inaugural credit, and she was soon to star in the breakthrough work of European Porno Chic, Pussy Talk. Likewise as with Barral, Bourdon appeared in a number of superb films in a few short years – both soft and hard – among them: Alain Payet’s delirious Prostitution Clandestine produced by Robert de Nesle, Claude Pierson’s perfect hardcore debut Les Goulues, Pierre Unia’s freewheeling Candy’s Candy with the astonishing Beatrice Harnois, Jean Rollin’s masterpiece Lips of Blood and Serge Korber’s arty XXX epic Dans la Chaleur de Julie for Alpha France.

Set in a warm sixties design apartment that serves as a kind of mental clinic, ‘nurse’ Bourdon leads the dance of ‘patients’. She seduces them as well as the other nurses. This movie has a very pretty female cast. The cinematography is aesthetic and slightly anarchic, but the movie is above all supported by an oneiric repetitive synthesizer tune. There is practically no story line, but this adds only to the weird atmosphere that characterises this little movie. From the period that Bénazéraf really was an idiosyncratic filmer. Similar movies from him are “l’Homme qui voulait violer le monde’ and ‘La Planque’