JAKE COYLEAP Film Writer
Cannes, France (AP) —Veteran provocate Paul Verhoeven premiered his lesbian nun drama “Benedetta” At the Cannes Film Festival, he made a solemn vow to revive the sexuality of the film.
“Benedetta” stirs up the French Riviera Festival as expected over the weekend. Among them, Belgian actor Virginie Efira will star as Benedetta Carlini. Benedetta Carlini is a 17th-century French nun who communicates directly with Jesus and falls in love with a farm girl saved by a monastery (Daphne Patakia). Verhoeven’s films, an entertaining riot of eroticism, violence, catholicism and plague, were all rejected as follows: “Nunsploitation” Was welcomed “Good old art house costume shagaton.”
In Cannes, where the controversial premiere of movies such as “Taxi Driver” and “Blue is the Warmest Color” took place, I love the shock of violence and the splash of sex. With the advent of “Benedetta”, puns fly around the croisette.
“When people have sex, they take off their clothes,” Verhoeven said on Saturday. This purity introduced is wrong in my opinion. “
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Verhoeven, the 82-year-old director of “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls,” discovered the comeback of the art house in the acclaimed French thriller “El” in 2016. He has long advocated sexuality as a part of nature. Movies too.
“People are interested in sexuality. Not many directors know how to shoot it. But Paul Verhoeven has been a man who has dealt with this key topic in amazing ways from the beginning. Nude is meaningless unless it’s beautifully drawn. That’s not what Paul is doing. When I undressed, everything was a lot of fun. “
Written by Verhoeven and Elle co-producer David Birke, “Benedetta” is inspired by Judith C. Brown’s non-fiction book “Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy.” Carlini was a real 17th-century abbot who was tried and imprisoned in the early 1600s for advocating a mysterious vision.
Verhoeven strongly opposed that anything about his film could be labeled “blasphemous.”
“Most of the time, that’s true. Of course, I made a few changes, but that’s (true),” Verhoeven said. “We can talk about what went wrong, but we can’t change history.”
“So I think the word blasphemy in this case is ridiculous,” he added.
Instead, Verhoeven sees “Benedetta,” which IFC Films acquired for release in North America, as a progressive film.
“You can see what happened in 1625, how people, our people, people in Western Europe, thought about the lesbian love story, and where we are now. “Verhoeven said. “We’re probably not completely there, but I think we’ve made a lot of progress, and the difference between then and now was also the reason for making the film.”
Follow AP film writer Jake Coil on Twitter. http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
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Paul Verhoeven celebrates Cannes with a lesbian nun drama | Entertainment
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