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What Is an Auteur?
320 Ratings

The Exterminating Angels

Les anges exterminateurs

Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
France, 2006
Fantasy, Erotica
  • French
  • English
What Is an Auteur?


A filmmaker holds a series of boundary-pushing auditions for his latest project: a thriller on the subject of female pleasure.

Our take

After a guilty charge of sexual harassment during auditions for Secret Things, Jean-Claude Brisseau brazenly made a film seemingly inspired by the scandal. The result is lurid—and to many, tasteless—but also surreal and sensual, an exploration of the mysterious desires conjured during filmmaking.

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Sure, the potent erotic charge doesn’t hurt in focusing our attention, but Mr. Brisseau has done more here than elicit extravagant exposure from his actors. In its meta-cinematic commentary, it may even be one of the season’s more cerebral endeavors.
March 07, 2007
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Whatever the case, the film is a poetic, provocative response to an era of facile psychology that encourages the packaging of every sexual fear and insecurity into convenient traumas to be “overcome” (with litigation, when necessary). In Brisseau’s hands, sex is dangerous and wonderfully incomprehensible.
March 05, 2007
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Simultaneously brilliant and naive, the film strives to manipulate and implicate the viewer, seducing us into Brisseau’s sexual and mystical intrigues and then punishing us for our complicity.
March 01, 2007
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