Hopefully by now you’ve weighed your options about erotic movies with submissive/dominant relationships and come to the logical conclusion that Peter Strickland’s “The Duke Of Burgundy” is far, far greater than “Fifty Shades Of Grey” can and will ever be (here’s our review of the stunning ‘Burgundy’ and the piss-poor ‘Fifty Shades’). But ‘Fifty Shades’ is obviously a big, mainstream, Wal-Mart-esque look at S&M, whereas “The Duke Of Burgundy” is a much smaller, limited-release film, so you may not have caught up with it yet.
We assure you it’s terrific, a sensual, sumptuous look at eroticism and fetishism that’s aesthetically gorgeous. It’s on our 25 Best Films Of 2015 We’ve Already Seen list and we were so enamored with it we ran three different interview pieces with its director Strickland, perhaps most notably The 6 Movies That Influenced “The Duke Of Burgundy” and 10 Musical Selections That Inspired The Movie.
Speaking of music, while stunningly shot, immaculately crafted, and meticulously designed, one of the movie’s best elements is the score by the group Cat’s Eyes. Their sensual, gauzy psychedelia is very much in the vein of the space-age, retro-futurist pop that Broadcast were known for and, of course, Broadcast scored Strickland’s previous film, “Berberian Sound Studio” (they might have scored ‘Burgundy’ too if it weren’t for Trish Keenan’s untimely and tragic death in 2011).
“I always come back to Nino Rota, who did ‘The Godfather’ soundtrack,” Rachel Zeffira from Cat’s Eyes said in a interview with Dazed. “He said if you’re not communicating from the soul, your music will never last. His colleagues were very competitive to get respect and good reviews and they were all trying new things or copying Stockhausen. And Nino Rota just steadfastly stuck to beautiful melodies. He got made fun of for being over-sentimental and saccharine, but today you listen to his stuff and there’s an immediate emotional connection. He said if you’re not honest when you write there’s just no point at all.”
That’s a pretty good summation of the beautiful, sonorous “Duke Of Burgundy” score, which you can pretty much guarantee is going to be on our year-end best scores list. You can listen to the entire thing below and you should stop what you’re doing and do that because it’s an amazing score. Additionally, here are two clips from the film, which you may have already seen, and should whet your appetite to see it if you haven’t. They include the vintage-y opening credits and the “moth montage.” Gorgeous stuff.
“The Duke of Burgundy” is out now out in limited release and is also available on VOD through most digital outlets.
Additional reading: 11 Kinky BDSM Films To Get You Tied Up For ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ (which includes ‘Burgundy,’ of course).