Camille 2000 (1969)
By: Michelle R. on November 6, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.93:1 (Non-anamorphic). English DD 2.0. 116 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Radley Metzger
Starring: Danièle Gaubert, Nino Castelnuovo, Eleonora Rossi Drago, Roberto Bisacco, Massimo Serato, Silvana Venturelli, Zachary Adams
Screenplay: Michael DeForrest
Music: Piero Piccioni
Tagline: She traded the future for the pleasures of the present...
Country: USA
Beautiful, decadent Rome socialite Marguerite Gautier (Daniele Gaubert) leads a whirlwind, jet-set lifestyle of sex and drug fuelled parties, accompanied by an endless stream of lovers who cater to her lavish excesses. Armand Duval, (Nino Castelnuovo) the handsome, straight-laced young son of a successful businessman, is dispatched to the city to attend to some of his father's business matters. Armand is inducted into the social world of the young and wealthy elite by a friend, where he meets and is instantly besotted by Marguerite. Despite warnings from acquaintances (and Marguerite herself) that she will never be able to detach herself from her hedonistic way of life, Armand continues to pursue Marguerite, and the two begin seeing each other regularly. Enraged when he catches her with another man, Marguerite swears to Armand that he is the first person she's ever truly loved and promises to stay in a monogamous relationship. But their union is doomed when Armand's domineering father intervenes, accusing Marguerite of using his son for his money. Shattered, she is pressured into leaving Armand and throws herself back into the jaded partying circuit which will eventually lead to her downfall…

Radley Metzger is credited with introducing the 'porno chic' era to adult cinema throughout the 1960's and 70's, directing elegant, visually arresting erotic dramas intended to appeal to couples, thus validating the porn genre (which had previously been the domain of the raincoat brigade) to acceptable, mainstream status. Camille 2000 is a perfect example of the director's signature style - glamourous location shots, 'arty' camerawork, strikingly attractive actors and a strong emphasis on fashions and set décor.

Today the film would be considered more of a romantic melodrama than softcore erotica, as the once risqu é scenes of sex, nudity and drug use are fairly tame. Sixties buffs will relish the once cutting-edge costumes and sets, some of which wouldn't look out of place in an Austin Powers movie (especially Marguerite's blinding-white bedroom, complete with mirrored walls, clear plastic inflatable couches, and circle-shaped bed). Occasionally the film drags a little and becomes overly talky as it follows the trials and tribulations of the protagonists, but this is buoyed by the capable performances of Gaubert and Castelnuovo as the drama unfolds. And did I mention the wonderful Hammond organ-drenched lounge score from Piero Piccioni?
Video
Camille 2000's transfer is nothing to write home about – the print is rather dull and washed out, with scratches and grain constant during the film's running time.
Audio
Audio is available in a Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack, in which dialogue and music are at decent levels. However some weak post-synch dubbing and occasional glitches in the track are present.
Extra Features
Original theatrical trailer, five brief deleted scenes and a trailer for another of Umbrella's Metzger releases, The Lickerish Quartet.
The Verdict
A sexed-up love story for the Swinging Sixties, Camille 2000 was among a number of trendsetting, progressive pictures that marked the end of that decade. Considered notorious during its original release, the film is slow moving and relatively tame by today's standards, but remains a fascinating time capsule of an inimitable era with engaging and humane performances from the leading actors.
Movie Score
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