The Pornographer review

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The title will inspire most punters' prurient curiosity, but The Pornographer is set to disappoint cinemagoers of the Dirty Mac variety. Winner of a critics' award at Cannes 2001, writer-director Bertrand Bonello's second feature contains (unsimulated) scenes of an extremely sexual nature, but chooses to centre on fatherhood rather than fornication.

Compulsively morose Godard veteran Jean-Pierre Léaud plays Jacques, a `70s pornographer returning to the industry to pay off his debts. Disenchanted that filming people doing it has lost its former resonance, Jacques re-establishes contact with estranged son Joseph (Jérémie Rénier), who's struggling to make his own mark on the world.

Unmistakably French in style and in sensibility, this dry-witted meditation on identity and father-son relations moves at a restful pace. However it still manages to arouse the one organ that dirty movies don't usually go for: the brain.

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