Philoctetes Center is honored to present WRITER OF O as the fourth
in its Film Series. Published in Paris in 1954, STORY OF O was an
immediate bestseller and literary scandal: an elegantly written
S&M fantasy that had all the hallmarks of being an autobiographical
account by the pseudonymous Pauline Reage. In 1994, Dominique Aury,
a mild-mannered editor at the prestigious Gallimard publisher revealed
her authorship. In this documentary, to which Dominque Aury gave
her blessing, Pola Rapaport explores Auryıs inspiration, recreating
the world of 50s literary Paris and setting it against dramatic
sequences that bring the book to life. In the film, Dominique Aury
and other French intellectuals speak to the complicated relationship
between sexuality and power, submission and freedom, liberation
and self-agnegation. Dominique Aury died in 1998 at the age of 90,
well before the completion of the film. The Philoctetes Center is
delighted that Pola Rapaport, the filmıs director, will be present
at the screening and will participate in the discussion.
remarkable intelligence, Pola Rapaport ...has chosen to tell
the real story that [Story of O] holds hidden between the lines.
To do so, she put Dominique Aury at the center of her film
Using documentary footage, some of it not previously seen, the
film shows her at various periods [of her life]... As a very
old woman...Dominique Aury speaks, with great tenderness, about
just how far and in what directions love can take one...."
Le Monde, December 13, 2004
Roger Copeland is Professor of Theater and Dance at Oberlin
College. His essays about theater, dance, and film have appeared
in The New York Times, The Village Voice,The New Republic, Film
Comment, and Partisan Review. He is the author of What Is Dance?
and Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance.
Toni Bentley is a former dancer with the New York City Ballet,
and author of five books including The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir,
Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, and Sisters of Salome. She has
written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy and The New
York Review of Books.
Daphne Merkin is a critic and novelist and has been a regular
contributor to The New Yorker The New Republic, and The New York
Times Book Review. She is the author of Enchantment and Dreaming
Oppenheim is Professor of French and Chair of the Department
of French, German, and Russian at Montclair State University. She
is the author of The Painted Word: Samuel Beckett's Dialogue With
Art and A Curious Intimacy: Art and Neuro-Psychoanalysis, among
Rapaport is the writer and director of Writer of O, Family Secret
(2000) and, Blind Light (1997)