3 DANCING SLAVES

NR

-By David Noh


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Director Gaël Morel makes like a cinematic version of Jean Genet in 3 Dancing Slaves, a homoerotically infused saga of three handsome brothers. His camera basks in their muscled torsos and sullen profiles while occasionally remembering to advance their story. Drug dealer Marc (Nicolas Cazalé) is the alpha of the siblings, bossy, cruel and inwardly tortured. Christophe (Stéphane Rideau) has just come out of stir and goes straight, taking a job in a meat factory, which only irritates Marc. The more timid Olivier (Thomas Dumerchez) mourns their mother's recent death, while coming to terms with his awakening homosexuality.

If you share Morel's fascination with thugs who more than likely will kill as soon as kiss you, then, as the French say, this is your tasse de the (cup of tea). "Look at these poor, twisted, gorgeous young animals," he seems to be saying. "How could you not love them?" Well...

In Genet's famous 1950 film, Un chant d'amour, the only one he directed, his artistry transformed his macho obsession, making it a work of true poetry, power and seduction. Morel works like a demon, but the perspiration-however induced-is evident in every frame. There is a gratuitous need to shock that is all too apparent, as are Morel's particular personal sexual leanings: Olivier with his boyfriend (Salim Kechiouche) discussing which of their body parts they'd eat; Marc screwing a trannie he treats with typical contempt and shaving his pubic hair in front of his disgusted father. Of course, Morel is not above playing the incest card, with suggestive scenes of the brothers sleeping nude together. In one horrible scene, Marc's beloved dog is thrown from a bridge to its death. So typical of Morel, who will shamelessly go anywhere to elicit intense viewer response.

-David Noh


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