Kinky Cinema: Story of O

Well, it has been a while since we watched The Story of O, and in the name of Kinky Cinema Mr Kinnk and I decided it was time to review what has become a classic of kinky cinema.

The film of the Story of O is based upon the book Histoire d’O by Anne Desclos who wrote under the pseudonym of Pauline Réage in 1954. Interestingly, she kept her authorship secret until 1994, 4 years before her death. The film was released in 1975 and banned in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification until 2000. It was directed by Just Jaeckin, who also directed Emmanuelle.

The film is narrated from a third person perspective. The jury is out as to whether this could be considered a movie about emancipation through submission or just plain exploitation. Some argue that O is a figure who goes through an ‘assent by degradation’ (as it is put by Susan Sotang). She is a female figure who talks about her sexuality, and who ends the film proud to be a submissive. On the other hand, she enters the training castle of Roissy completely in thrall to René, her lover, where she is completely at the disposal of any man who wants her, whatever way. She accepts this to prove her love to René. As I said, this film is complete fantasy, and although she is offered the opportunity to leave on her admission, safe words are never used. Whilst in the château at Roissy, O is kept by a valet, Pierre, whose job it is to regularly flog her and chain her up at night for bed. In the film, the actor Jean Gaven looks spookily similar to the celebrity chef Raymond Blanc.

The primary purpose of inducting O to the castle at Roissy was to train her to become a slave to Sir Stephen, René’s half brother. René tells O that he wants her to learn to serve a man who does not love her, and uses O to pay back a debt owed to Sir Stephen. In the film, both Sir Stephen and O do fall in love, and their relationship seems to based on a more consensual basis than that between René and O. O is told by Sir Stephen that whilst she is not free to choose what she does when she is Sir Stephen’s slave, she is free to leave at any time.

This is certainly no story about someone topping from the bottom. O is designed to be a fantasy figure, who is not even given the privilege of her full name. On the other hand, she is seen at the end of the film completely comfortable with her situation as Sir Stephen’s submissive.

Story of O DVD Bluray
The Story of O is definitely a product of the 1970’s. There is frequent and full female nudity, but there is far less male nudity, as befits their status as the powerful dominators. Compared with modern films the cinematography is at times dimly lit, and always soft focus. Pubic hair is conspicuous and copious in comparison to modern erotica. But the women are real, their shape and form is sensuous and far removed from their artificially enhanced modern counterparts. It is definitely worth a watch, even if just to chuckle at the far fetched scenes and chef doppelgänger.

Buy The Story of O [Blu-ray] from Amazon

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