Flesh Of The Orchid (La Chair De L’Orchidee) (4 stars)

Flesh Of The Orchid (La Chair De L’Orchidee)

(18) 120min

Charlotte Rampling rarely takes an easy role and this 1975 adaptation of a James Hadley Chase novel is no exception. She is Claire, a runaway heiress and it’s the asylum she is running away from. Taking up with big and bulky Louis (Bruno Cremer) from the wrong side of the tracks, he offers love and warmth, but is Claire too perverse to accept emotion on it own terms? Long unavailable on DVD, Patrice Chéreau’s debut film fits into a thriller format, but also has some of the bloody mess of his 1994 historical epic Le Reine Margot and the emotional subtleties of Chéreau’s later troubled and troubling films: Gabrielle, Intimacy and Son Frére, where feelings are more important than actions. Minimal extras.

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