Marquis (film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Marquis is a 1989 Franco-Belgian film directed by Henri Xhonneux, based on the life and writings of the Marquis de Sade. All the actors wear animal masks[1], designed by Jacques Gastineau and their voices are dubbed. There are a few scenes involving clay animation.

The tagline used in the US release was, "A bizarre tale of sex, lust, and the French Revolution."




Freely inspired by the internment of Marquis de Sade in the Bastille, of which the script and art direction were taken care of by Roland Topor, it merrily mixes historical fact of the French Revolution, and philosophical ruminations of human nature confronted with its basic instincts.

A mix of real life action and animation, the film bathes in an fantasmatic atmosphere where Sade's sadism are toned down by humour.

Full plot

In pre-revolutionary France, the canine Marquis de Sade sits in jail working on his writing and having conversations with his penis which has a face and is named Colin. When Colin is not whining about his need for stimulation and espousing his impulsive philosophies, he is "telling stories" that make up the Marquis' work (some of which is illustrated via clay animation).

The Marquis was imprisoned for allegedly defecating on a cross, however he is also accused of raping and impregnating the bovine Justine. The latter is a plot by the camel-headed priest Don Pompero and the cocky Gaetan De Preaubois try to keep secret the fact that Justine's rapist was actually the King of France.

Meanwhile, the revolutionaries prepare to stage a coup and depose the king. Several of the inmates are also political prisoners leading to several failed escape attempts which land the inmates in the Bastille dungeon. They are eventually freed, however, by the revolutionaries.

Colin runs away with one of the revolutionaries leaving the Marquis to continue his writing and to muse about his life in peace.

Talking body parts trope

Marquis features extensive conversations of Sade talking to his genitals (and the genitals talking back to him), other fictions which employ the trope of the talking body parts are Naked Lunch (1959) by William S. Burroughs and the The Indiscreet Jewels (1748) by Denis Diderot.


Character Voice of:
Marquis de Sade François Marthouret
Colin Valérie Kling
Ambert Michel Robin
Justine Isabelle Wolfe
Don Pompero Vicky Messica
Gaetan De Preaubois René Lebrun

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Marquis (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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