Cinema: Lust Is a Thing with Feathers

DANGEROUS LIAISONS Directed by Stephen Frears

Screenplay by Christopher Hampton

The old moguls hated movies where people wore powdered wigs and wrote with feathers. So this film's first images should set the old bosses spinning in their mausoleums. A gentleman's peruke is affixed, a lady's bosom powdered. But this gentleman, the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich), is an icy defiler, and this lady, the Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close), secretes contempt under her frozen smile. Among the French aristocracy just before the Revolution, she is the stage manager of affections and deceptions, he the lickerish snake who literally hisses at his...

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