British director Peter Strickland’s follow up to his haunting film rape-revenge thriller Katalin Varga and art-house giallo Berberian Sound Studio is his most offbeat film yet. The Duke of Burgundy appears to plunge us into the sado-masochistic relationship between a haughty lepidopterist, Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, best known as the prime minister in Borgen), and her submissive maid, Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna), which plays out in an all-female world located in a timeless corner of Eastern Europe. As the film unfolds however, we discover that the women’s folie à deux is altogether more bizarrely perverse. Echoing the moody erotic cinema of 1970s auteur Jean Rollin and the twisted dream worlds of David Lynch, Strickland has come up with a sensual, strange and utterly compelling romance.
The Duke of Burgundy shows at the Odeon West End at 11.45am this morning and at the Curzon Mayfair at 6pm on Sunday 19th October.