Cinema: An Evil Marriage

Les Liaisons Dangerouses (Astor) is an offense against taste, a baldly commercial celebration of the Gallic religion of disgust. At the same time it is a wickedly funny comedy of promiscuities à la franqaise. The mixture seems sure to produce a succès de scandale.

Actually the scandal started 180 years ago, when a French artillery general, Pierre-Ambroise Franqois Choderlos de Laclos. published a novel that seriously proposed and wittily elaborated a science of seduction, a yoga of the boudoir. The book survives as an unholy missal of impudicity, a small black classic that, in literary opinion, excuses its sins with its...

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