Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye (2003)

Genres - Avant-garde / Experimental  |   Sub-Genres - Surrealist Film, Erotic Drama  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Josh Ralske

Writer/director Andrew Repasky McElhinney's follow-up to the critically successful A Chronicle of Corpses is entitled Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye, but it is not based on Bataille's historically scandalous novella. It's clear that McElhinney's film falls more into the "inspired by" category. The film opens with file footage of a woman giving birth through an episiotomy. This is accompanied by a voice-over that briefly describes Bataille's life and the furor his work caused. We are then transported to a dingy basement nightclub in some unknown era where a young man (Sean Timothy Sexton) manipulates his "joystick" while watching two exotic dancers (Courtney Shea and Melissa Elizabeth Forgione) in elaborate costumes. Sexton is later seen mistreating a black servant (Claude Barrington White), who is dressed in bondage gear. White answers the front door to find a skinny white man in a sailor suit (Querelle Haynes) and the two engage in consensual rough sex. They are violently interrupted. Later, Forgione awakens in another room, wearing a bloody bandage over her eyes. She fumbles her way down a dark hallway where she discovers Shea in a dog cage. Forgione frees Shea and the two have relations with a big blue sex toy. They are interrupted by Sexton. Later, presumably the next morning, a battered looking Shea walks down a decrepit hallway and up a flight of stairs, again and again. Eventually, she reaches a room from which she witnesses the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Then she encounters Sexton and Shea. McElhinney dedicates his film to French silent serial maker Louis Feuillade (responsible for Judex and Les Vampires) and to pornographer Stephen Sayadian (Café Flesh).