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The Pornographer (2001)

Jérémie Rénier, more...
Director: Bertrand Bonello, Bertrand Bonello
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Koch Lorber Films
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 106 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A man who traded in his artistic ambitions for commercial success now finds himself at a personal and professional impasse in this drama. Jacques (Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a filmmaker who in the 1970s directed a number of top-grossing porno movies; more than two decades later, Jacques's struggles to get out of adult movies into something more satisfying have not borne fruit, and his efforts to make porn films that are more sensual and less obvious don't go over well with his producers. Jacques would just as soon get out of the business and complete a more personal project he was forced to abandon in the mid-'80s, but directing porn is the only work he can find that pays enough to put a dent in the debts he's racked up, as well as those of his wife Jeanne (Dominique Blanc). As Jacques tries to decide what to do with his career, he gets a surprise telephone call from his son Joseph (Jeremie Renier); Joseph turned his back on his father years ago when he found out what he did for a living, but the boy, now a college student and a political activist, has decided it's time to reconnect with his dad. Le Pornographe features Jean-Pierre Leaud's character directing two real-life French porn stars, Ovidie and Titof, in an explicit sex scene for one of Jacques' films. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Filming Sex/Missing Out on Life by talltale June 28, 2005 - 7:07 AM PDT
5 out of 8 members found this review helpful
Threatening to become impossibly pompous and/or pretentious, THE PORNOGRAPHER manages to avoid this (for the most part) via intelligent, elliptical writing and direction plus very good performances from its cast, led by a now jowly and scowly Jean-Pierre Leaud (once Truffaut's Antoine Doinel). Since this is about the making of pornographic films (among other things such as life, death, work, fathers, sons, women and men), expect a couple of explicit scenes. These actually work well within the framework provided and should not knock anyone's nose too far out of joint.

I originally saw this film at a French festival in NYC; seeing it again on DVD was, surprisingly, an even richer experience--perhaps because I had gotten past the porn into the more interesting realms. There's a very unusual manner of student protest shown here, which provides some much-needed humor to the proceedings. The director also finds noteworthy ways of having his lead character reside on the fringes (or leave the frame entirely), which quietly indicates his separation from everything around him. Yes, it's THAT kind of movie, so bypass "The Pornographer" if action, even of the sexual sort, is your preference.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.38)
24 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2001
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
New French Extremity
Predominately films that would be classified as 'horror' with a few notable exceptions. Many films get lumped into this catagory because the director has made films considered "transgressive".

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