30 December 2001 | Cinebug
Marvelous Psycho-Sexual Film With Authentic Period Atmosphere
OF FREAKS AND MEN is a constantly interesting story and film-------very well photographed---------about a strange, psychopathic pornographer who makes movies of women being whipped by a "nanny" for the underground market at the turn of the century. The film is shot in a sepia tone to give a nice authenticity to the proceedings. If you've seen photographs from the fin-de-siecle, you realize what marvelous recreations of those romantic-------though risqué--------photographs the filmmakers have achieved. Many of them look very much like the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron----------one of the finest photographers working after the Civil War, who specialized in photographing women in dream like, highly romantic, almost spiritual scenes. She never did photos like this, of course, but the same care was taken in the art direction of this film.
But most interesting of all is the psychological workings of the minds of the very respectable middle class characters who find themselves drawn to this seedy business against their wills, but are quite willing to pursue their newfound inner freedom after the pornographer has left. This is one of Image Entertainment's most artistic releases for 2001. More please.