“Belle de Jour,” Luis Buñuel’s erotic drama about a bored and troubled housewife who turns to prostitution for titillation, remains one of the great achievements in surrealist and erotic cinema after 50 years. Lucky for cinephiles, the movie is celebrating its semicentennial anniversary by returning to the big screen with a major 4K restoration. Let’s just say Séverine’s fantasies have never looked so sensual or felt more dangerous.
Catherine Deneuve is front and center as Séverine. She pretty much lives the perfect bourgeois life — she’s married to a wealthy surgeon, has all the time in the world and accrues admirers wherever she goes. But under the surface Séverine is consumed by virulent sexual fantasies that threaten to dissolve her sanity. Behind her husband’s back, she decides to indulge in her fantasies, which range from masochism to bondage. She joins a local high-class brothel, setting a course of events into motion that prove both destructive and fatalistic.
The 4K restoration premiered earlier this year in the Cannes Classics sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival and is hitting French cinemas next month. There’s no word yet on whether or not the restoration will come to U.S. theaters, but given the popularity of both the film and Buñuel it seems safe to assume it will sometime this year. Watch the French trailer below.