The Pornographer

September 14th, 2001


The Pornographer

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Jacques Laurent made pornographic films in the 1970's and '80's, but had put that aside for 20 years...

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 5.6/10 (1,066 voted)

Director: Bertrand Bonello

Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jérémie Renier, Dominique Blanc

Jacques Laurent made pornographic films in the 1970's and '80's, but had put that aside for 20 years. His artistic ideas, born of the '60's counter-culture, had elevated the entire genre. Older and paunchier, he is now directing a porno again. Jacques's artistry clashes with his financially-troubled producer's ideas about shooting hard-core sex. Jacques has been estranged from his son Joseph for years, since the son first learned the nature of the family business. They are now speaking again. Joseph and his friends want to recapture the idealism of 1968 with a protest. Separated from his wife, Jacques strives for personal renewal with plans to build a new house by himself...

Jean-Pierre Léaud - Jacques Laurent
Jérémie Renier - Joseph
Dominique Blanc - Jeanne
Catherine Mouchet - Olivia Rochet
Thibault de Montalembert - Richard
André Marcon - Louis
Alice Houri - Monika
Ovidie - Jenny
Laurent Lucas - Carles
Ségolène Savoff -
Titof - Franck
Marcelo Teles -
Violetta Sanchez -
Nadia Nataf -
Thomas Blanchard -

Release Date: 14 September 2001

Box Office Details

Budget: FRF 7,000,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


User Review

Too bad sex sells

Rating: 6/10

Once upon a time, you grew old and grey working at a menial job for 35 or 40 years, until you received a handshake and a gold pocket watch. You then spent your retirement regretting not having done the things you dreamed of when you were younger, and with any luck, died in a few years. Oh, the good old days. Thanks to a struggling economy, and longer life expectancies, more retirees find themselves rejoining the workforce just to makes ends meet. Depending on your expertise, this can present some challenging situations.

Jacques' blissful retirement is rudely interrupted by three little words: non-sufficient funds. Lacking a pension, he has to resume his old calling - directing pornography. For Jacques, the pornography business has changed for the worse (?): nobody is interested in artistic vision anymore or plots, all they want is to film the sex and get it to video as soon as possible. The barbarians! Strangely enough, the work gives him the courage to contact the son he never knew, and think about embarking on a new life.

Although the movie revolves around a movie within a movie (the filming of a porn film), the bulk of the film is spent navel gazing, with the main character contemplating his life and place in the universe. Just as Jacques begins to emerge, he turns inward and becomes increasingly withdrawn, severing ties with everyone. While alienation can be used as a tool to entice an audience, neither the characters nor story in "The Pornographer" are strong enough to sustain our interest. The viewer is kept at arms length and never gets the opportunity to connect with the characters - I couldn't even commit to being blasé.

What could have been an interesting, gripping story, is ultimately a pointless empty shell of a film. Nuff said.


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