Lust & Revenge - screener

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Lust & Revenge

Film by Paul Cox

Year: 1996, 90 mins
Code: PCO-Lust
ISBN: 978-1-921882-88-3

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Life has not been kind to the heiress Georgina (Claudia Karvan) who, after a failed marriage and a morally bereft, corrupt family environment is frequently seeing her psychiatrist. To take her mind off her troubles she and her friend Lily (Victoria Eagger) devise a scheme to get a man to pose for them, naked and at their beck and call, while Lily ostensibly sculpts an imitation of Michelangelo’s David.  Georgina’s father (Chris Haywood) encourages this activity, foreseeing both a healthy tax deduction when he donates the sculpture to the National Gallery (part of which he has funded) and the instantly elevated artistic status of his daughter’s friend.

The scheme under way, it is revealed that the model, Karl Heinz (Nicholas Hope), is married to a sexually repressed religious obsessive (Gosia Dobrowolska), who becomes jealous of the attention her husband is receiving.  Troubled, she consults her religious guru, who encourages her to join in the modelling, assuring her that God will condone this risque activity if all proceeds are donated to his church.

At the height of the sculpture sessions yet still prone to erratic behaviour, Georgina is given a new drug to test.  The drug turns out to be a powerful aphrodisiac which Georgina, partly out of curiosity, partly from pique, decides to secretly give to Karl Heinz’s repressed wife …

In this erotic satire, each individual is seeking love and each journeys to their own sexual awakening, yet in the process, all are manipulated and exploited by the power mongers of society at every level.

Director: Paul Cox
Producer: Jane Ballantyne, Paul Cox
Writer: Paul Cox, John Clarke
: Nino Gaetano Martinetti

Cast: Nicholas Hope, Gosia Dobrowolska, Claudia Karvan, Chris Haywood, Victoria Eagger

Born in Holland and settled in Melbourne since the mid-‘60s, Paul Cox is an auteur of international acclaim, having received numerous international awards.  He is one of the most prolific makers of films in Australia, with numerous features, shorts and documentaries to his name. He is the recipient of many special tributes and retrospectives at film festivals across the world, including a major retrospective at the Lincoln Centre in New York in 1992.

His films of the early and mid ‘80s – Lonely Hearts (1981), Man of Flowers (1983), and My First Wife (1984) – were highly acclaimed both locally and internationally. 
Man of Flowers premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984, and went on to win Best Film at the 1984 Valladolid Film Festival as well as Best Foreign Film at the 1991 Warsaw Film Festival.
Cactus premiered in Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986 and Vincent won the Jury Prize at the 1988 Istanbul International Filmdays.
A Woman's Tale won the Grand Prix at the 1992 International Flanders Film Festival in Ghent and Exile screened in competition at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival.

More recently, Cox's highly acclaimed feature Innocence (2000) won massive audience and critical acclaim, including Best Film and the People's Choice Award at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival; and 5 Australian IF awards including Best Film, Independent Filmmaker of the Year for Paul Cox, and Best Actress for Julia Blake.

Cox’s career continues currently, with features such as Human Touch (2004) and Salvation (2008).

This is a film with a bitter core; Cox believes we as a society tend to disregard the artist and the value of art, mistreating and degrading it. He says he made this film instead of going to a psychiatrist. "I was a bit pissed off…" Still, while the humour is very pointed, there is a highly entertaining mood to the film, and some great performances.

- Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile.

This is quite good attempt to investigate the world of sculpture and art as a whole. That does not at all mean that the film is overly artsy. It succeeds in being fairly complex and intelligent without pretentiousness. In fact, it is a satire, also on some other social issues like new-age-type cults or psychotherapy. Includes some interesting characters. Leaves you with a bitter-sweet aftertaste. 8/10

-  IMDb review

Paul Cox is one of the most important filmmakers to come out of Australia ... he is a filmmaker of incredible energy, persistence and vision - all qualities which are crucial to survive as a filmmaker. He is also uncompromising in fulfilling his vision which is almost always achieved with comparatively small budgets of about $1 million. As a director, he has an ongoing screen relationship with many of Australia's greatest actors. The themes in his films - isolation, faith, hope, love, survival - remain the same and reoccur over and over, but above all else his films are about human frailty ...

Philip Tyndall, "Paul Cox - Filmmaker", Senses of Cinema

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