Sunday, July 17, 2011

Garzelli's "The Sentiment of the Flesh" plays with peculiar fascinations and fetishes (among doctors)

“What about the body?”  That was a question posed in a church-sponsored encounter group back in 1972. That body image, or body image, related to self-worth was a common hang-up. And obsession with these things, well my mother once said, if you get into this, “people will think you’re peculiar.”

Well, in a French teaching hospital, Helena (Annabelle Hettmann) and Benoit (Thibault Vincon) are peculiar enough in the movie “The Sentiment of the Flesh” (“Le sentiment de la chair”), a title that invokes memories of a notorious Andy Warhol movie. This production (new director, Roberto Garzelli) has class (it made the festival circuit in Chicago, Rome and Montreal) and is being released on DVD by Strand (July 26). But it is indeed challenging, to say the least. Helena likes to memorize the details of her beau’s body (even the birthmarks – the film literally opens with a shot of a hemangioma) and resident physician Benoit (the boy friend) eroticizes over cat scans and MRI’s (a scary thought for the TSA today).  He even changes the dye when giving her an MRI to see “more”.  The young intern (Pierre Moure) is a lot cuter and saner.  One thing, Benoit smokes like a chimney, a depressing habit for a doctor. But his morbid curiosity leads the film to a truly graphic (and definitely NC-17) climax.

The official site for the film is this

Strand’s trailer is on YouTube:


Picture: not from film (a local karaoke party)

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