La bouche de Jean-Pierre/The Birth of Aphrodite

La bouche de Jean-Pierre/The Birth of Aphrodite

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LA BOUCHE DE JEAN-PIERRE 1986. Color. French language, with English subtitles. 50 minutes. Image quality: good. One night, a young girl named Mimi helplessly watches her mother try to commit suicide. As the woman slowly recovers in hospital, Aunt Solange takes the little girl to her housing project, but instead of sharing her room, Solange makes Mimi sleep in a tiny space in the corner of the apartment. On her first night there, Mimi awakens to the sound of Solange and her boyfriend Jean-Pierre having aggressive sex. Mimi is very lonely and unhappy in her new situation, and wants to go back to her mother as soon as possible. Sleezebag Jean-Pierre make Mimi's situation even worse when he gets her alone and tries to force her into some very inappropriate behavior. Desparate, Mimi comes up with a horrifying plan to reunite herself with her mother. Sandra Sammartino plays the troubled Mimi quite convincingly, in her first and only movie appearance. Written and directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, "La Bouche de Jean-Pierre" is a very well made and acted film, but it's about as bleak as it gets. Contains nudity.

THE BIRTH OF APHRODITE 1971. Color. 10 minutes. No dialogue. Image quality: very good. A trippy underwater journey through a surreal seascape filled with twisting, morphing creatures writhing their way through a distorted dreamworld of the deep. Eventually, a lovely young girl emerges from the water and walks out on to the beach. Why, it's Aphrodite of course, and she happens to be blonde, beautiful, and naked! She feels the sand, dances around with seaweed in her hands, and finally floats up into the heavens, which appear just as psychedelic and acid inspired as the ocean. Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith, an actress familiar to many genre film fans, plays the always naked Aphrodite, and was only fifteen or sixteen years old at the time. The nudity is presented in a very innocent, one-with-nature way, which probably made it possible for the movie to be shown at festivals without much controversy or calls for censorship at the time of its release. Nominated for a Palme d'Or for Best Short Film at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Contains nudity.

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