Lez Diaboliques

THE HANDMAIDEN is a good night out — looks beautiful, twisty plot is just logical enough (though the crazy sexual mannequin shenanigans clue us in that plausibility may not by high on the agenda).

Fiona was a little dismayed by the wanton destruction of pornography which plays a key role in the plot. What amounts to book-burning sits oddly in a film which itself delights in explicit “scenes of a sexual nature.” It’s almost like there’s a fuzzy line being drawn between bad erotica (here, written works and readings for the benefit of men) and good erotica (here, sex between two women, as presented to us by a male filmmaker). This might have made more sense in Sarah Walters’ original novel Fingersmith, where the two kinds of erotica would both be literary, and the women’s stuff would actually be written by a woman.

But we enjoyed it — my God, the design is fantastic. I skipped out on Chan-Wook Park’s work after finding THIRST a let-down in emotional/narrative terms (still looked nice). OLDBOY is still his most satisfying work.

Best part of the cinema experience was overhearing two women (I think a mother and daughter) in hysterics, staggering into the loo. “Sixty-six years old,” gasped the elder, “but I learned a few things this evening!”

Put it on the poster!

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