Sex & Videotape (50 All-Time Greatest Films)

50 Days 50 Films…One a Day for 50 Straight Days: My All-Time 50 Favorite Films

(Just a single rule: mix-tape-style, no more than one film per director. You know, because otherwise the whole thing would be pointless.)

(#37) Belle de jour


Drama     •     dir. Luis Buñuel     •     1967     •     France

Belle de jour
Life was so much simpler back then. Aged 14, 15, 16, my idea of a good time was buying CDs in Croydon record shops – less often: shops and market stalls in Camden, and either side of Berwick Street in Soho – with my best friends Mike, Matt, and Richard Ward. We had fuck-all money, but always enough to buy something (singles mostly) and still afford the bus fare home. In maybe four different parts of London, we had maybe twenty favourite shops, from big chains like HMV and Virgin, to a tiny little indie off the beaten-track in Croydon we called James’ , after the only-slightly-older music fan who ran it – the unlikely venue one magical day for a short gig by The Mr. T Experience, for which Mike and Matt (bigger fans than I) bunked off school. Music was everything and sharing it with friends the greatest thrill. Even if that meant walking the length of Croydon high street in the rain, on the off-chance of saving a quid on the new Pulp single.

So what changed? A few things, I guess. Nighttime became more important than daytime, and we started to spend more of our slender resources at the pub (or else at Kebab World on the way home). We stayed friends and we still listened to and talked about music incessantly. But inevitably something else gradually became a bigger deal. One day in a Croydon record shop, I got a crisp tenner out to buy a discounted VHS tape. Yes, I was taking an ever-greater interest in film, but really it was the prominent quote on the front of Belle de jour that aroused my immediate attention: “The Rolls Royce of sex movies.” Of course my friends thought that most amusing. In all the years since, however, I figure “funny” is only one of a great many things we’ve found sex and women to be. What is real in Belle de jour, and what is fantasy? What is Catherine Deneuve thinking about, and why? What does she want, and – oh boy – what do we?


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Make believe we saw it together… leave a comment!

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About newjonnytransit

Same as ever, only better.
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One Response to Sex & Videotape (50 All-Time Greatest Films)

  1. Pingback: All Things Said & Done (50 All-Time Greatest Films) | The New Jonny Transit Blog

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