Dec 1, 2013
Forget the ridiculous fantasy-driven romantic-comedy Mannequin (1987) starring a pre-dried-cunt-cougar Kim Cattrall, the quasi-Eurocentric experimental gay porn flick Strictly Forbidden (1976) aka Le musée aka Dreamboy directed by prolific auteur-pornographer Jack Deveau (Left-Handed, Drive) is the greatest and most just plain bizarre sensual-statue-come-to-life flick ever made, even if it has been rarely seen since its original dubious release in France nearly four decades ago. Apparently, originally shot on location in Paris and briefly released in an unauthorized manner under the frog title Le musée in the mid-1970s, Strictly Forbidden was not officially released by Hand-in-Hand films (auteur Deveau’s production company) until 1984 when it was reconstructed under the title Dreamboy utilizing the original shooting script written by failed French Renaissance man Jean-Étienne Siry. A French-American coproduction partly shot in the Musee Rodin and the Musee Gravin (a wax museum) in Paris, Strictly Forbidden is the eerily lecherous celluloid tale of a pansy American art student who travels to Paris to ‘cruise’ art museums, only to eventually discover a secret ‘private collection’ of erotic male statues that come to life and cum all over the turd of a twink protagonist. Described by auteur Deveau, who has a cameo in the film as a froggy fag freak, as follows in a 1977 interview with In Touch magazine, “An American student traveling in France finds himself one day in a Paris art museum. Wandering around, he comes upon an unlocked door to a private collection. A guard shoos him away, but his curiosity has gotten the best of him. He returns to the museum, managing to sequester himself there overnight. What he find sin the room is a collection of erotic male statues, which come to life and guide the boy from one sexual act into another. In the end, the boy becomes one of them, a statue. The film is seen from the boy's point of view, and takes on the feeling of one sexual act, an initiation into homosexuality,” Strictly Forbidden is a hyper hallucinatory homo hardcore flick from the Golden Age of pornography that, at least aesthetically, simultaneously echoes the sinister shadowplays of German Expressionism, the ‘body fascism’ of Leni Riefenstahl and the homoerotic phantasmagoric cine-magic of Kenneth Anger. Indeed, if nothing else, the beyond porn chic Strictly Forbidden does the seemingly forbidden in regard to the erotic celluloid arts by being one of the most artsy fartsy fag fuck flicks ever made, as a sort of celluloid prototype for Michael Zen’s Falconhead (1976) and Falconhead Part II: The Maneaters (1984) and the sort of neo-Hellenistic homo piece that could have been directed by National Socialist sculptor Arno Breker’s gay son.
A young American art student named Allan (Thomas Jeffries) has traveled to the cultural epicenter of Paris and, not surprisingly, the so-called ‘City of Love’ seems like a pure transcendental and otherworldly heaven-on-earth to the little lad, but little does he realize that much more magical things are hidden under the aesthetically-pleasing metropolis' undeniably striking surface. While travelling around Paris, Allan is approached by a dirty old monsieur (director Jack Deveau) with ulterior movtives who, although pretending to be the young Yank’s friendly guide at first, soon propositions to buy the young Boy Scout-like boy’s virginal bunghole. Of course, Allan does not take too kindly to being thought of as pricey meat and merely runs off in a hysterical manner, and not long after, he discovers the entry door to a secret exhibit at a museum, but he is kicked out by a security guard with an American accent (!) before he can get a good luck of its decidedly decadent displays. Like any living and breathing human being, Allan is absolutely allured by the forbidden, so he decides to take his chances and sneak into the mysterious museum at night. Luckily, for the bi-curious boy, the private collection not only features superlatively statuesque statues of men with unclad private parts, but said statues also come alive and give the sodomite novice Allan the raunchy supernatural ride of his life. After a handsome and horny statue comes to life and fittingly French kisses Allan, he is lured into another somewhat ominous room where the startling stone-cock orgies begin. While lying on an ancient aristocratic pedestal of sorts, Allan gets in on some mutual oral action with some statues in what amounts to not much more the foreplay. Later on in what seems to be a ritualistic rite of the rectal-reamer sort, Allan has a load busted on him by a beatnik-like degenerate with a bushy beard while he sits passively in a fancy ancient seashell-shaped bathtub. Before Allan knows it, he is involved in a full force five-statue orgy of the gay Ancient Greek variety that mainly involves some majorly masochistic fellow being anally invaded by a gigantic phallic statue. To assumedly initiate Allen into the sodomite statue order, the orgy concludes with all the living works of art shooting their antiquated yet viciously virile loads on the stupid American boy's bare body. In the end in what amounts to a sort of Twilight Zone-esque climax of the creepy colon-choker sort, another young American arrives at the private collection of the phantasmagorical museum and sees that Allan has been transformed into a stoically-posed stone statue, thus confirming the young American's magical man-loving metamorphosis as a work of esoteric European erotic work.
Undoubtedly, if Left-Handed (1972) is porn-auteur Jack Deveau’s most cynical and aggressively anti-romantic work and Drive (1974) is his most unhinged and campy pornographic poof piece, Strictly Forbidden is indubitably the director's most conspicuously classy, classical, and aesthetically cultivated work as a pleasingly preternatural film that is not only a playful tribute to Paris, but all of Occidental kultur and art history in general. Indeed, the high-class hypnotic hardcore flick that the pseudo-Anger-esque work Night of the Occultist (1973) wished it was, Strictly Forbidden is a film that, seemingly unwittingly, questions the very purpose and inspiration behind art, as if every single statue and painting in human history was created by a perturbed individual suffering from sexual repression and a pathological obsession with the human body and thus used their respective artistic medium as a semi-cryptic means of masturbatory metaphysical release. Featuring nil sex scenes for almost the first 20 minutes and dangerously drenched in unwaveringly artsy to its absolutely aberrant cocksucking core, Strictly Forbidden will probably only interest diehard cinephiles nowadays as a rare wanton celluloid work where aestheticism trumps eroticism and poetry trumps penises. Featuring an exceedingly eerie and atmospheric synthesizer-driven soundtrack by somewhat mainstream French composer Didier Vasseur, who also composed the soundtrack for Deveau’s Just Blonds (1980), and magical camera tricks recalling Jean Cocteau, Strictly Forbidden almost seems like a celluloid crime due to its completely curious cocktail of audacious avant-garde artsy and debauched dildo deviancy. Indeed, with a simple reedit, Strictly Forbidden could be easily transformed into a non-pornographic experimental film, but then again, that would also destroy the film’s aesthetically sacrilegious appeal as the wanton arthouse-porn equivalent to the American horror-comedy Waxwork (1988). Featuring a nearly dialogue-less script penned by obscure French writer/actor/director Jean-Étienne Siry (And God Created Man, Snails in the Head aka Un escargot dans la tête), who is probably best remembered today as the poster designer of films like Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) directed by Otto Preminger and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Lola (1981), Strictly Forbidden is also a work that strangely proves that at one time in history there was some bizarre overlap between the arthouse and porno worlds. Paradoxically semi-impenetrable in its storyline but quite literally visually penetrating, Strictly Forbidden is poof porn as poetry as a sort of (unintentional) celluloid love letter to Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Georges Bataille, and Roland Barthes, yet with an appreciation for the European Übermensch form in the spirit of Riefenstahl and Breker.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 1:56 AM
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