The Ceremony

In an extravagant house in Paris, people gather for sexual ceremonies in luxurious environments. The 83-year-old author, Catherine Robbe-Grillet is the brains and heart behind the erotic role playing. She is the dominatrix who controls what goes on and her partner, who is 31 years her junior, has promised to submit to her smallest command. Lina Mannheimer portrays a puzzling, intellectual and deeply fascinating woman who, accompanied by her husband Alain Robbe-Grillet, has dedicated herself to investigating sex both in life and in literature. The sadomasochistic ceremonies are presented with an intense presence and cinematic focus in this beautiful and thought-provoking debut film about desire, power and silk scarves.

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  • ★★★★★ review by onthewall2983 on Letterboxd

    I was quite moved, more by the interview segments than the actual ceremonies. That absolute love and devotion to someone who rewards it in mostly punishing ways is something quite different than what I seem to find around me, which isn't too far from the Western ideal of love and devotion but sheds into something different when time allows it. I'm sure that's just as much the case in France too, and Robbe-Grillet's life is unique in it's bourgeois trappings compared to the other-wise middle-class majority of kinky folk.

  • ★★★½ review by henridecorinth on Letterboxd

    ‘Deviant’ behavior portrayed neither as cautionary nor as a novelty. It makes sense that everyone involved would perform their rituals in front of cameras.

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