Cinema: Fast Company

Salvation; damnation. Libertinism; slavery. Sexuality; death. To D.H. Lawrence, life was a series of primal contests, a mirror image of the Victorian ideal. Reason lay on one side, passion beckoned on the other, and woe betide the maiden who chose the wrong path. Lawrence, of course, was the advocate of passion. "The tragedy," he warned, "is when you've got sex in your head, instead of down where it belongs."

No story—and no film—better reveals Lawrence's moral absolutism than The Virgin and the Gypsy. Between its narrow boundaries is sown the seed of the Lawrentian canon—the familial conventions, the social hypocrisies, the annealing...

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