How often do you get Barbet Schroeder, Gerard Depardieu and Nestor Almendros together to shoot a film about a burglar who ends up falling in love with the dominatrix whose dungeon he’s unwittingly tried to rob? In a scene at the very beginning of Schroeder’s exquisitely paced, beautifully executed “Maitresse” the tone is brilliantly set for the relationship – and thus the film itself – through Almendros’ meticulously composed images. His camera captures Depardieu’s fair Olivier and his dark-haired partner-in-crime (whose bad idea it was to burglarize the “downstairs apartment”) in a hornet’s nest of their own making, caught in the act by Bulle Ogier’s “Maitresse” Ariane, and subsequently handcuffed to her radiator and guarded by a vicious Doberman named Texas.
But wait––if this doesn’t sound like a setup straight from the twisted mind of David Lynch I don’t know what does.
To read the rest of my take on the 1976 classic visit Spout.