List Film

David Hamilton Boxset (3 stars)

(18) 242min (Jeff DVD retail)



In the late 70s and early 80s, London society photographer David Hamilton turned his hand to filmmaking and directed a couple of soft focus impressionistic sex dramas. His three best-known films, which are featured in this boxset - Bilitis, Laura and Summer In St Tropez - are beautifully mounted if occasionally tedious, very French tales of sexual enlightenment at the hands of sexual sophisticates. Hamilton’s entire oeuvre (he made six films in all and has not made anything since 1984) seems to exist purely to spark the question ‘is it art or is it pornography?’ But get beyond that and Bilitis and Laura in particular (the first of which was written by future French auteur terrible Catherine Breillat) are like time capsules from a pre-Boogie Nights age when intellectual interpretations of porn were not all about parody and shock tactics. The straight to video Summer in Tropez is pretty rubbish however and the extras are negligible or uninteresting.


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