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SXSW Film review: ‘The Ceremony’ pushes sensual boundaries

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A scene from "The Ceremony," playing at SXSW


“The Ceremony” (French with English subtitles) is all about devotion, an obessesive devotion well beyond the average domestic arrangement or even friendship, more intense than love.

In director/screenwriter Lina Mannheimer’s first full-length documentary, we encounter an echelon of desire that might figuratively offend. Mannheimer introduces us to writer and famous dominatrix, Catherine Robbe-Grillet, her junta of collaborators and submissives.

Two men squawk like chickens wearing underwear in a grand foyer. Moments before they were on all fours snarling acting as beasts.

With a command they transformed into poultry, as Robbe-Grillet drops slices of meat from a story above. The sacred has never been tantamount to the erotic. But in Robbe-Grillet’s world, the erotic is sacred, coveted as a sixth sense.

Make no mistake. This film is not solely about sex, at least not the physical act, it is supra-sexual, more about pushing sensual boundaries.

You can catch “The Ceremony” at 6:30 p.m. today (Monday) at the Violet Crown, and again at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Alamo Slaughter.

A scene from "The Ceremony," playing at SXSW

A scene from “The Ceremony,” playing at SXSW


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