Login

Conspirators Of Pleasure Review

Image for Conspirators Of Pleasure

Six outwardly normal individuals indulge in secret, and really rather bizarre, fetishes in the privacy of their own homes.

★★★★

It seems likely that Czech surrealist genius Jan Svankmajer has been sampling bootleg Cronenberg tapes, since this latest masterpiece makes a strange companion piece to Crash, while drawing on the images of Videodrome. A wordless charade, it follows a group of lonely Prague denizens as they labour through the week on projects that set up their Sundays: one man makes a cockerel mask from porn magazines and wings from umbrellas; a postwoman fills her head with bread; a policeman creates fetish surfaces from household objects; a newsreader buys fresh carp; and a newsagent builds an interactive tactile device that connects with his TV.

Svankmajer follows the process of these projects with Blue Peter-like detail, only gradually letting the specific function of the erotic machines become apparent. For an hour, this appears to be the director's first all live-action feature, but when Sunday comes and these solitary strangers cut loose, so does Svankmajer's provocative technique, as a couple abuse life-size dolls in each other's images.

It seems gentler than Crash, but is a harsher vision: Svankmajer's perverts, though linked, are in the end alone.