The Duke of Burgundy (Strickland, 2014) is a prime example of a film that you come to for one reason and love for another. I was drawn in by the lure of the sexploitation throwback and pleasantly surprised to find it was so much more than that. I found a complex, intimate relationship drama that knew its way around a corset. Within that, I also found a film that treated kink with respect. It’s surprising, and often disappointing, how seldom that is the case. Erotic films are often a dodgy proposition, maybe even more subjective than comedy. Sex is such an undeniably powerful component in so many of our lives. Sometimes it’s an epiphany, sometimes completely bewildering, sometimes even boring. No one film is ever going to be all things to all people, but some don’t even try. We should celebrate those that are this ambitious, revealing, and beautifully rendered.
We should also celebrate those that find the universality under the more exotic sexual trappings. Simply put, The Duke of Burgundy is a love story. It addresses the most common questions of shifting power in a relationship. Don’t let the bondage fool you. The most complicated restraints are seldom visible to the eye. Insecurities can keep even the most dominant of doms off balance and dissatisfied. Living a life of subservience, even one that you have carefully scripted for yourself, may not be enough. Strickland builds a place here away from the world that lets us immerse ourselves. Don’t be afraid to explore and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to indulge.
What you’ll find in this episode: butterflies, bondage, baking, and what to do when your significant other polishes someone else’s shiny boots of leather.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Duke of Burgundy on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Lover.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.
Six films that inspired Peter Strickland to make The Duke of Burgundy.
A look at BDSM, personality, and mental health.
Plan your trip to The Museum of Sex!