Author Topic: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT  (Read 2428 times)

Offline millicent

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Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« on: Mar 03, 2015, 12:38:11 PM »
SPOILER - SPOILER -SPOILER

I enjoyed the film, but I was disappointed by the ending - I wanted them to split up.
It seemed like too fundamental a gap to bridge without one of them having to compromise themselves into misery.
I didn't buy Evelyn's 'this is just a luxury' assertion.

I will write more, but I'm nearly out of lunch hour.

What did everyone else think?


"It's... like a ticket. And once you've bought your ticket, and been to the circus, then you can sort of see other people who've done it, too. They walk a certain way. Smell a certain way. Their whole body becomes like an accent. And you always recognise your own accent. I recognised you."

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #1 on: Mar 03, 2015, 12:55:44 PM »
Loathed Evelyn almost immediately and found her simpering ways really irritating, what a selfish little cow she was!! As the film went on I found myself longing for the mistress of the house to seal that bloody box and have it shipped somewhere far, far away.


Offline marzipan gnome

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #2 on: Mar 03, 2015, 03:39:06 PM »
i felt so sad for Cynthia at the end of the movie. She was continuing with things i dont think her heart was in for. 
i was so excited when she starting eating the cake and then was dismissive of evelyns attempts to safeword. i was really hoping she would continue in that manner but was not to be.

on a separate note i like that they showed the performance anxiety from the top side. easy to forget that tops want to get it right too.

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #3 on: Mar 03, 2015, 04:25:25 PM »
You know I totally misread the ending! I was so shocked at the point in the film where the scripting of the scenes by Evelyn was revealed, thinking 'Argh!!'. I also loved the bit where Cynthia loses her rag and draws a limit with Evelyn's demands. Some how I misconstrued the return to the repetition of the scenes at the end as being from a different point: that this time it's done with Evelyn in a place of respect.  ::)

Offline marzipan gnome

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #4 on: Mar 03, 2015, 05:39:38 PM »
Maybe you are correct evil one.
To me it appeared the only thing that changed was Evelyn returning to the bed.  I really did not feel Cynthia enjoyed the dress up. She would be quite content to issue demands in a set of pyjamas.  ;D

Offline millicent

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #5 on: Mar 03, 2015, 05:51:21 PM »
I found Evelyn terribly irritating and wanted Cynthia to leave her in the box too.
('Next time, say it with more conviction.' Ugh! Unbelievable.)

But then we were chatting about it after the cinema and now I think maybe seeing Evelyn as a manipulative bratty monster is too simplistic.
My friend made the point that to a certain extent tops do take some steer from their partner.
To me, Cynthia didn't seem to be into it at all, but only to be doing it because she loved Evelyn and wanted to make her happy.
So the steer she'd be getting from her partner would be greater, I guess?
And for Evelyn it didn't seem like a whim, but something she *needed*.
Like I said, I didn't buy her calling it 'a luxury'.

Also, while I loved the cake scene, and 'wouldn't it be lovely if we could just say pinastri to make our problems go away' - Cynthia wasn't being domme-y and assertive, she was pissed off and took it out on Evelyn in a scene. That's not great, is it.

So I guess the moral of the story is that it kind of sucks to be in love with and have a monogamous relationship with someone who isn't all that sexually compatible with you?



"It's... like a ticket. And once you've bought your ticket, and been to the circus, then you can sort of see other people who've done it, too. They walk a certain way. Smell a certain way. Their whole body becomes like an accent. And you always recognise your own accent. I recognised you."

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #6 on: Mar 03, 2015, 06:12:52 PM »
I guess I saw it as a portrait of co-dependency with Cynthia as the enabler.

Offline millicent

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #7 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:18:24 PM »
It most likely is - I probably have confirmation bias.  ;D ::)
"It's... like a ticket. And once you've bought your ticket, and been to the circus, then you can sort of see other people who've done it, too. They walk a certain way. Smell a certain way. Their whole body becomes like an accent. And you always recognise your own accent. I recognised you."

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #8 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:27:05 PM »
I feel like I could say loads on this film and the questions it raised for me about stumbling blocks in D/s, but I have to dash off to a gardening club meeting...... living on the edge.  ;)

Offline marzipan gnome

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #9 on: Mar 03, 2015, 07:35:22 PM »
Lots to be said.  But am sure it will keep evil.

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #10 on: Mar 03, 2015, 08:58:55 PM »
I found Evelyn terribly irritating and wanted Cynthia to leave her in the box too.
('Next time, say it with more conviction.' Ugh! Unbelievable.)

But then we were chatting about it after the cinema and now I think maybe seeing Evelyn as a manipulative bratty monster is too simplistic.

As some one who has experienced (non-consensual) manipulative bratty monsters, I suppose I erred on the side of thinking Evelyn was responsible for her own behaviour and quite repellent.

Most of all the film made me think about what submission is, how often there is a point where people run up against their own egos: do they really want to surrender to another's will? or is it more that they want to do what they want to do, but have the responsibility and work taken out of it and their needs catered to in the guise of being dominated.

My friend made the point that to a certain extent tops do take some steer from their partner.
To me, Cynthia didn't seem to be into it at all, but only to be doing it because she loved Evelyn and wanted to make her happy.
So the steer she'd be getting from her partner would be greater, I guess?

I think I get what you are saying here, yes there is often a large degree of negotiation. Some people are TOTALLY OK with the idea of topping from the bottom, or service topping, or any combination there of. If that's what people are into and what makes them happy all well and good. Some people are into resistance and brattiness as a style (completely different from your use of the word bratty). Others have strict protocols and a high degree of formality: again this is something both people have agreed to because it's something they enjoy and want to do together. (not listing these styles as exhaustive, mutually exclusive, or any one better than the other, just trying to show there are a million ways.)

I don't think that's what the film portrayed. As you say Cynthia didn't seem to be into it at all. To me she seemed stressed and unhappy, going through the motions. To me she seemed to be suffering. I didn't see any element of consensual power exchange.

Cynthia may have been playing the role of the dominant but she wasn't getting any of the elevation that goes with that, Evelyn was the one calling the shots and controlling the action.

This seemed to be the crux of the film, to pick apart the common perception of D/s power dynamics, and to litterally turn on it's head the common assumption that the person bottoming is always the vulnerable one, most open to exploitation. This is an idea so often repeated in pop culture that there is an ingrained acceptance and blurring between the roles people play and ideas of who they are as people. IE: the awful stereotypes that a dominant must really be striding about all of the time IRL ordering people about or that a submissive must be a shy, cowering type.

In my experience not only are the stereotypes unhelpful, indeed harmful but they gloss over how complex relationships can be. How fluidly dynamics can move and how D/s can be something which feels quite natural and doesn't at all rob either person of agency. The best way I have ever heard this put is 'equal and yet choosing not to be equal' in the context of the relationship. The paradox of relating to another as absolutely on an even footing, and that it is from this point that power exchange can take place.

There has been so much furor over '50 shades of Grey', then I noticed a thread/post on FL today which put forward the idea that Evelyns behaviour towards Cynthia was non-consensual and therefore abusive. Personally I think abuse is a word flung around a a little too easily but that did give me pause for thought.
« Last Edit: Mar 03, 2015, 09:13:36 PM by pure evil »

Offline millicent

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #11 on: Mar 04, 2015, 06:23:55 AM »
As some one who has experienced (non-consensual) manipulative bratty monsters, I suppose I erred on the side of thinking Evelyn was responsible for her own behaviour and quite repellent.

Oh totally - of course she was responsible for her own behaviour.
I felt sorry for Cynthia. (Who also was responsible for her own behaviour.)
People are prepared to put up with so much shit in the name of 'romantic love'  - and that is not restricted to D/s.
(Yeah - I may have gone off that 'romantic love' concept. Does it show? I think I was watching it with those specs on)
I wanted to slap Cynthia and tell her to walk away and slap Evelyn and tell her to stop being an a-hole.

No, it wasn't consensual power exchange. (My autocorrect tried to change that to 'Pierre'. What?)
It didn't look like glorious fun.

I'm still thinking about the other stuff you wrote.
"It's... like a ticket. And once you've bought your ticket, and been to the circus, then you can sort of see other people who've done it, too. They walk a certain way. Smell a certain way. Their whole body becomes like an accent. And you always recognise your own accent. I recognised you."

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #12 on: Mar 04, 2015, 04:01:43 PM »
Fair call re shared responsibility - tho it does my head in trying to distinguish how all of that swings when there isn't consent. Plus the phenomena of control from a 'submissive' passive aggressive position is a convoluted one to pick up on.

Definitely watched the film with my own set of 'specs' on.

For a film I thought I didn't particularly like, it's certainly given me plently of distraction and points to mull over.

Offline wildwitch

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #13 on: Mar 04, 2015, 10:07:31 PM »
I think that this film is really hard to judge from a moral or values veiwpoint.

We're not given the back story. It doesn't have a clear beginning, middle or end. We don't know if all those scenes were happening in chronological order. Those tears of Cynthia's could have been after her first attempt. There isn't  book. I hope there won't be one based on the screenplay because I like the idea that it's surreal. We don't know if these scenes took place once a week, or once a month.

There were times of stress and frustration for both women but also times when it all went really well and the sex scenes were beautiful.

On Fetlife there are the usual knowalls' disappointed it didn't turn into a lesbian shades of grey with better public service kinky instruction.

This film is like a surrealist painting. We can only react really.

I see this film as a dream-like portrayal of two women's love for each other and their exploration of Ds. They experiment. They make mistakes. Cynthia scrubs up very dommily when giving her lectures. Maybe the whole kink thing is Evelyn's fantasy. I was also sure that the Carpenter was one of the other lecturer's brought in to play a role but it seems she was another actor.

Maybe I'm giving this film more arty credence than it merits.I hope that Peter Strickland stays vague about it.

Maybe I'll feel differently about it when I see it again.

Wildwitch on Fetlife- hoping to meet more like-minded LBQ women for friendship, play and now open to relationship possibilities. No I'm NOT after an affair with a bi-curious married woman or into swinging. I hope that makes things clear!

Offline pure evil

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Re: Duke of Burgundy - SPOILER ALERT
« Reply #14 on: Mar 05, 2015, 03:31:54 PM »
Here's and interview with Peter Strickland on the film http://cinema-scope.com/features/human-bondage-peter-strickland-duke-burgundy/