The Image (aka The Punishment of Anne) DVD
Written by Peter West
DVD released by Synapse Films
Directed by Radley Metzger
Written by Jake Barnes (screenplay) and Catherine Robbe-Grillet (novel)
1975, Region 1 (NTSC), 94 minutes, Unrated
DVD released on June 25th, 2002
Mary Mendum as Anne
Carl Parker as Jean
Marilyn Roberts as Claire
Interestingly told as a recollection of past events by Jean, the male lead: Jean has just completed a short story, is finally able to socialize again and attends a literary party. Jean runs into his old friend Claire, never sexually interested in Claire he is fascinated by her friend Anne. Claire explains that Anne belongs to her and invites Jean for drinks after the party. It soon becomes clear that Claire dominates Anne, and Anne enjoys the domination. Intrigued at first, Jean finds himself getting deeper and deeper into becoming part of the Sado-Masochistic relationship these two women enjoy. Exhibtionism, punishment, and humilation all weave together in this extremely erotic tale! The question arises is Jean a partner or pawn in this relationship?
Prior to watching this movie I had heard comments that it was merely pornography with a plot. That is far from the truth. This is a interesting story and touches on serious human sexual behavior. I found it intriguing. There are some very graphic sexual scenes, but are they pornography? I think not, but if you're over 18 you decide. I highly recommend this film.
Video and Audio:
Incredible is too mild a word for a film of this age to look so good on DVD. The DVD was digitally mastered from the original camera negative from the director's archives. Synapse lives up to their reputation of the finest quality film presentation possible. There are only a few seconds here or there where there is damage or blemishes. Overall it is absolutely marvelous.
There are three audio tracks, one the original mono, a remasterd Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track, and the isolated music score. I listened to the stereo and found it free of distortion or defects.
The isolated musical score, the director's filmography, and a four page insert are the extras for this DVD. Sorry there's no trailer, but, if one existed, Synapse would have included it. The four page insert with liner notes by Stephen R. Bissette is very interesting reading. The isolated score is nice background music.