In this surrealist French film, A man and a
woman are passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to
consummate that passion are constantly thwarted, by their families, the
Church and bourgeois society.
At least sixty years ahead of its time, the film
is a collection of surreal scenes, and it satirizes every social value
possible. It revels in anything considered by the aristocrats to be
vulgar was made with a delicious sense for black comedy, a taste for which
would not become socially acceptable for sixty years. This movie
caused riots on its first release in 1930, and was banned for forty years.
Think of it as Salvador Dali and Luis Bu˝uel sticking their tongues out at
the things everyone else takes seriously, and then laughing at their
The scene in the photo of
Lya Lys on our site occurs
when she and her boyfriend are kissing. Suddenly, he sees the foot of
a statue behind her and is distracted by its beauty―he is especially
mesmerized by its foot. She pulls away and tries to talk to him, but
he holds his hand up to her face as if to say, "Hang on―just give me a
minute." Moments later, he is called away; left on her own,
mourning the momentary separation from her lustful partner, she begins
sucking on the toes of the statue, as she were sucking on the fingers of her
love a few moments before. The camera cuts to a close-up of the
statue's face, as if to check its reaction.