Cinema Cesspit

The film theatre is often romanticised as a communal space, curlicues of smoke lending atmosphere to an audience hypnotised by utopian adventures and united in shared responses that in turn help shape them. We also hear of the cinema as a place for courtship rites, as a free space where certain types of sexual encounters were possible both for heterosexuals and homosexuals, the back rows and the dark providing a measure of safety. However as we can see in this clip from Dernier domicile connu (José Giovanni, 1970), it could also be a dangerous place for single women. And as we can also see, the ethics in resolving this could be underhanded: entrapment was common. Here, Marlène Robert is the bait, Lino Ventura the strong arm of the law.


José Arroyo

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