Review: Chasing The Muse

Chasing The Muse

Chasing The Muse. When a film begins with a quote by Agnes Varda (bless her), you can sense it’s doomed.

Jean-François Davy does not disappoint. His goal is to create a video diary of the women he meets, for purely artistic reasons of course. If you can bear to listen to Davy’s 1h40 minute monologue on women and his sexual prowess in the 70s, then more power to you.

First stop Prague.

It’s easy to imagine the ad: French director looking for young women for a photo shoot. Watching these young, lithe, surgery-enhanced women made me cringe, imagining the hope they had placed on this meeting before laying eyes, hands and mouths on Davy. He asks for a lot and seems to get it, his gut overhang is not hard to miss. Next stop, Budapest and Kitty. A young woman, unable to communicate with Davy, dropped at the door by a man who looks like her brother or an inoffensive pimp, g-string inside out, ready (or not) to be gently molested by Davy, who is probably older than her grandfather. His post-production voice-over suggests he is probably the man she is looking for. I just hoped Kitty’s payment at the end was enough to at least buy a house.

Jean-François Davy’s cinema experience consists of erotic films in the 60s and 70s. Apparently his claim to fame is having a woman named Claudine Beccarie as his star and an audience of three million people. Beccarie however took early retirement from the porn scene to go and peacefully raise geese in the country. After seeing this film, it’s not hard to understand why. Davy left filmmaking for the next twenty years before giving himself this gift, like a 70th birthday present to himself – a tour of nubile, desperate, aspiring actresses, spread out on click-clack couches, being given wads of cash, and looking like they need a good wash at the end of it all. Convinced that this is sexual liberty, Davy appears oblivious to the women’s paid performance, and this is where the film collapses. The film is a misdirected, badly filmed (by his underwear-clad wingman Pierre) and badly edited personal musing. His fantasy monologue confuses eroticism with the women he is paying. Davy attempts to disguise this documentary with the question of who decides what is eroticism and what is not. Could the only difference be the lighting? A pretty flimsy premise and a poor excuse for a film basically about manipulation.

If you pay to see this, then consider yourself robbed. I’m hoping for Kitty’s sake, this never makes it to a Budapest multiplex…

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An Australian who has spent most of her adult life in Paris, Louise is a sometime photographer, documentary-maker, writer, researcher, day-dreamer and interviewer, who prefers to start the day at the local cinema’s 9am session.



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