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The Story of O: A Very Terrible Film You Simply Must See

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Listen to me when I tell you this is the worst film I've seen probably ever. That said, I for whatever reason felt compelled to see it through to the end—a courtesy I don't give every movie I begin—so maybe you'll find it worthwhile, too.

The Story of O is a 1975 adaption of Dominique Aury's novel by the same name. Here is the premise: A young woman, known to us only as O, is brought by her lover to a remote retreat in Roissy, France, where she is trained to be utterly submissive to said lover via several weeks (months? unclear...) of corporal punishment of the S&M variety. O is by the way the MOST flimsy character I have EVER SEEN ON SCREEN. Not because she's submissive and soft spoken—both totally fine—but because that is allllll she is. Such a bore.

When she finally finishes her training, she returns home to her lover and the transition from Roissy to wherever they live (probably Paris) is a scene in a photography studio where O is—apparently?!—a fashion photographer! For a second. Just, I mean... no characterization. Things are great with her guy and then he introduces O to his mysterious and distinguished male friend Sir Stephan (seriously) who is to become her new "master." He does. She likes it. He brands his initials on her. End scene.


A few things to note: the quality of the film itself is something I can only describe by way of comparison, which would be that it looks like a 105-minute long drugstore romance novel cover, but moving and talking and telling a whole story, faded to the quality of pastel watercolor dust. I took my glasses off more than once to see if I was just watching it through dirty lenses. Reader, I was not. Also, O is just one of a whole cast of characters without any...well, character. Basically these people are actors going through the motions to progress the plot of what might otherwise have been a very compelling story.

I don't know. I just really think this is a movie you need to see... if only so we can further discuss how weird and terrible it is. Or so you can have that discussion with someone else. Because I feel like people are always referencing it. [Netflix]