Dries Vermeulen 2 September Though D. While a considerable commercial success when theatrically released in the early '80s, Just Jaeckin's much-maligned rendition has rarely been deemed worthy of comment since.
Large part of the problem for high-minded reviewers remains the fact that so many involved on both sides of the camera are just so disreputable! Rather fitting for a film based on literary material so long slandered as pornographic and since that took three decades to rehabilitate, perhaps the movie might expect a similar fate by now?
While the Go-Go Twins, a nickname coined by Michael Winner, probably couldn't care less about such fate, this was clearly more of a concern for Just Jaeckin, craving respect in the wake of top-grossing titillation. Alas, it was not meant to be. Movie's actually a lot closer to the book, a "hot property" if ever there was, than those who have never read it assume. An intimately detailed account of romance as product of overwhelming sexual attraction, it didn't exactly need "juicing up" to qualify as source for an overtly erotic film.
Initially intended to be made by the outrageous Ken Russell who wound up doing a disappointingly bland TV version with Joely Richardson and Sean Bean a decade later with Sarah Miles and Oliver Reed slated to portray the single-minded protagonists, the eventual outcome was quickly written up as a sell-out to crass commercialism by the kind of ivory tower print journalists who are now receiving their just desserts courtesy of the Internet.
Okay, this is where I discard all pretense of professionalism and possibly, where part of my respected readership's concerned, take leave of my senses. Having made a convincing case for the defense, I feel, I must admit that I profoundly love this movie for reasons that are entirely personal. Picture if you will, an anxious year old boy struggling with his sexual identity — I have since come out to myself and the world, thank you — being taken by his beloved and now sadly departed mother to see this film at the sort of humongous picture palace pre-dating the multiplex culture we know today.
The extremely physical romance unspooling before my gazing eyes filled me with joy and longing as few films have managed since. Stuck in a loveless marriage, for which I don't blame my late father as they proved a poor match from the start by all accounts, my mom relished the vicarious thrill the flicks provided her with.
Needless to say, we both adored this one, so much in fact, and I can't believe I'm making this public but you will soon find out I have no shame, that we would call each other "Connie" and "Ollie" ever since until her untimely passing in February I developed a major crush on Nicholas Clay.
He had caused a stirring in my loins playing Lancelot in John Boorman's magnificently overblown Excalibur but now the lid was off entirely. As a starry-eyed gay teen, I vowed to keep myself chaste until we could be together.
Oh, my resolve weakened — or was weakened for me — within a couple of weeks or so and I grew into the slut beloved by many to this very day! So, this movie's all about coming to terms with my growing attraction to members ha! It's also about my mother, invariably the most important woman in most gay men's lives. Six and a half years since her death and still not a day goes by that she's not in my thoughts.
I love and miss her very much and watching this film — praise the Lord for DVD — makes me feel that little bit closer to her whenever I need to, just like this particularly odd review is my perhaps wrong-headed attempt at a tribute. Go softly into the night, my Queen, and God bless 25 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?