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Director: Frédérick Maheux
Screenplay: Frédérick Maheux
Cast: Ffej, Serge De Cotret
Print Source: Lamashtu
2009 | 9 min
May this night last forever… He finds himself alone with that obscure object of his desire. She is stunning, and entirely submissive before her master. Her body belongs to Him and He will do everything that brings him pleasure. Beside Him lie the accessories of his fetish—blades of all sizes, hammer, nails, enough to stock a charming little hardware store. Hidden from prying eyes—other than those in that strange photograph he seems not to notice—in the confines of his apartment, He at last initiates that moment he has always been waiting for, that erotic ritual that will quench his unmentionable sadomasochistic desires. He intends to make Her suffer. He will tear, cut, burn her body—and she will never beg him to stop, even as the pain reaches its greatest heights. Because she is not of flesh and bone, but rather plastic. Because dolls, simulacra devoid of life, make the best slaves. It will be horrifying but so beautiful. Eros, thy will be done! May this night last forever!
Between AIR DOLL, EVE'S NECKLACE and now THÉORIE DE LA RELIGION, it’s clear that the mysterious fascination that lifeless mannequins provoke has inspired a number of Fantasia’s filmmakers this year. The first feature film by Frédérick Maheux pushes the notion to its limits, showing naught but the languorous ceremony of man unleashing his deepest impulses through such an object. Despite the graphic rawness of its imagery, and because the victim is devoid of any humanity, the film can be seen as a surprising statement against pornography which the consumer of comparable material is presented in all his glory and disgrace. Paradoxically an extreme hardcore film without truly being so, THÉORIE DE LA RELIGION subversively reveals all the prejudices, misogyny particularly, that some closed minds have about the controversial genre. With a presentation recalling simulated snuff films like Roger Watkin’s LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET, Maheux displays a remarkable talent for the mise-en-scene, his imagery balanced between the filthy and the finely wrought. He’s also saluting the adventurous cinephiles of the ’90s for whom the most taboo films were only available on low-grade videocassettes, enthusiastically recreating that specific type of viewing experience. It goes almost without saying that no other film from Quebec this year ventures as far in its exploration of the dark corners of sexuality. A film of transgressive beauty, THÉORIE DE LA RELIGION promises an unforgettable cinematic experience, one that in the darkened confines and collective anonymity of a cinema opens the door to our most twisted fantasies.