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The Pornographer

Released Oct 3, 2001 1h 51m Drama List
33% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 39% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
Former porn filmmaker Jacques Laurent was, in the `70s, a thinking and artistic porn filmmaker -- a kind of auteur in erotic cinema. When his son found out what his father did for living, he ran away from home and refused to have any contact with his father. Laurent put an end to his career. Many years later, his financial problems meant he had to take up his old profession again. The profession had changed dramatically and there was no room for a legendary and original filmmaker like Laurent. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (12) Critics Reviews
Richard Brody New Yorker Bertrand Bonello's grimly histrionic, richly symbolic, yet somewhat on-the-nose melodrama, from 2001, which looks at the human wreckage left by the burst illusions of France's generation of May, 1968. Apr 27, 2015 Full Review Linda Ruth Williams Sight & Sound I spent the first 30 minutes or so genuinely unsure about whether this film thought itself funny, willing it to favour knowing self-mockery, disappointed but not surprised when it plumped for high pretentiousness. Aug 8, 2002 Full Review Rick Groen Globe and Mail The Pornographer does to its theme precisely what pornography does to sex -- it isolates specific parts while ignoring the bigger picture and the larger meaning. Rated: 2.5/4 Jun 7, 2002 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 1/5 Dec 6, 2005 Full Review Jules Brenner Cinema Signals The scenes in which the porno films are being made stand out, but with a 108 minute sit and an awkward narrative it isn't even salvaged by calling it French cinema. Rated: 2/5 Jun 24, 2005 Full Review Scott Weinberg DVDTalk.com You wouldn't want to spend a mere 15 minutes with porn filmmaker Jacques Laurent ... and The Pornographer runs 106. Jun 14, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (23) audience reviews
Liam D While it's to reliant on Sex to interest the audience it does have a interesting story to go along to make the movie watchable Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/01/23 Full Review Audience Member It makes you think about how empty nowadays porn is and, most importantly, that we always need something to fill our empty lifes. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review walter m In "The Pornographer," Jacques Laurent(Jean-Pierre Leaud) is a legendary pornography director, who suddenly stops with one fantasy left on the table, that of a human fox hunt. However, twenty years later, he gets back into director's chair. All goes well through most of the shoot, until the end when the assistants have to step up to complete the movie. At least things are going better with Jacques' son Joseph(Jeremie Renier) who is beginning a relationship with Monika(Alice Houri). "The Pornographer" is a dreary movie about a dreary man. Jacques' flaw is that he is thinking he is better than the movies he has made, with full pretensions of grandeur.(If this movie were actually smart and self-aware, then Joseph's story could actually be considered the movie that Jacques desperately wants to make, but that's giving it way too much credit.) In fact, he cannot think of the happiness that he has brought so many people through his work. Along these same lines, the movie, while occasionally sexually graphic, does ironically tend to be remarkably skittish towards sex in general. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A fascinating depiction of a man's regret when forced to re-enter a career that he gave up many years earlier. The pornography is merely the side story. This is a compelling personal reflection. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member Ce film est d'une grande tristesse et Jean-Pierre Là (C)aud particulièrement douà (C) pour interprà (C)ter les salauds par inadvertance. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review Audience Member An aged pornographer returns to the industry after a twenty-year hiatus while he attempts to reconnect with this estranged son and breaks up with his wife. Jean-Pierre Leaud is either a good character actor or has simply not aged well. The once handsomely intense Antonin Doinel is now he-of-the-chiseled-face with a French moroseness that makes him sad to watch. Most of this is appropriate for the character, but within the film, which wanders and suffers from too much melancholy, he merely depresses us further. The overall theme of the film may be either a condemnation of passivity or a statement about the direction of cinema over the last twenty or so years. Both themes have their problems and are inconsistently carried on. For example, Jacques does little to prevent his artistic porn film from being sullied by his producer, and his son's form of protest is silence. But both get no rewards when they break the bonds of passivity. So ... I don't get it. If the theme then is about the movie industry, then does Bonello really think that substance was really reigning supreme in the days before Katie Morgan? And if he's not focusing on porn in particular, then does he really think that substance reigned supreme when filmmakers were shooting <i>The Swarm</i>? Or any of the monster films of the fifties? You could say that this is simply a character study, but Bonello is clearly opening doors trying to get us to think about certain themes. He just fails to carry anything through with any consistency or clarity. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Pornographer

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Cast & Crew

Human Resources 97% 81% Human Resources The Promise 95% 90% The Promise Set Me Free 83% 79% Set Me Free Illusion 36% 87% Illusion Quitting 77% 85% Quitting Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Former porn filmmaker Jacques Laurent was, in the `70s, a thinking and artistic porn filmmaker -- a kind of auteur in erotic cinema. When his son found out what his father did for living, he ran away from home and refused to have any contact with his father. Laurent put an end to his career. Many years later, his financial problems meant he had to take up his old profession again. The profession had changed dramatically and there was no room for a legendary and original filmmaker like Laurent.
Director
Bertrand Bonello
Producer
Stéphane Choquette, Bruno Jobin, Barbara Letellier, Carole Scotta
Screenwriter
Bertrand Bonello
Distributor
Alamode Film, Haut et Court, Film Tonic
Production Co
Centre National de la Cinematographie, Haut et Court, Téléfilm Canada
Genre
Drama
Original Language
Canadian French
Release Date (Theaters)
Oct 3, 2001, Wide
Release Date (DVD)
May 10, 2005
Runtime
1h 51m
Sound Mix
Dolby SR, Dolby Digital, Dolby A, Dolby Stereo
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)