The Exterminating Angels (2 stars)

Not to be confused with the Buñuel film with a similar name; French auteur Jean-Claude Brisseau's erotic drama is a far more dubious proposition than the surrealist master would dare to offer. The Exterminating Angels concerns a film director François (Frédéric van den Driessche) who involves himself in much soul-searching while convincing various nubile actress to strip on-camera and perform sexual acts on themselves. Knowing that Brisseau himself was actually taken to court by two actresses who accused him of sexually harassing them as part of their auditions adds a genuinely unpleasant edge to the vapid soft-core shenanigans.

But despite the kind of scrupulous attention to the female form that made Tinto Brass’ work so aesthetically pleasing, this tossed-off film offers little intellectual or dramatic content to justify his considerable pretensions; Brisseau may aspire to be a artistic cause celebre, but he may just be a dirty old man. Extras include an interview with Brisseau.

(18) 100min (Axiom DVD retail)

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