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A Pornographic Affair (Une Liaison Pornographique)

Year: 1999
Director: Frédéric Fonteyne
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Sergei Lopez
A very well executed film with realistically good looking leads (rather than Hollywood-beautiful leads).

It tells the story of two people who meet on the strength of a personals ad looking for an affair with no strings or complications - they don't even want to know each others' name.

Soon, the protagonists find they want to try something new. After sitting over a nervous cup of coffee before retiring to a fast hotel to do their thing several times, they start to realise they enjoy each others' company. They both become curious and wrestle with inner struggles for and against falling in love.

Hardly has sex been so beautifully portrayed on film as when the two decide to make love instead of just have sex - that is, they talk, they kiss, they languish in the experience. A unique and effective cinematic device is used to implicate us into their newfound intimacy – up until this point, the camera stays outside the hotel room as they close the door. When they decide to make love instead, we're invited inside to share their frailties and desires.

Then, a heartbreaking old-fashioned misunderstanding ruins everything for them, through the frustrating simplicity of neither being able to declare their feelings honestly for fear of rejection or ridicule.

The film is great looking, all mute and drab greys of a rainy French winter, and it employs a strong visual storytelling technique and gives us a glimpse into the most beautiful and intimate of things – people falling in love. A sad, gorgeous, compassionate and compelling love story.

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