The Duke of Burgundy is a fascinating look into the give and take of committed human relationships, exemplified through immersive visual storytelling and the oft kinky sadomasochistic proclivities of two women. I sat down with Peter Strickland at AFI 2014 to discuss butterflies, metaphor vs atmosphere, the evolving language of cinema and why it's "impossible" to raise $5m for a film.
(Watch the trailer at the bottom of this post!)
As an interesting tidbit and something I'd never seen before, The Duke of Burgundy immediately pulls you into its world with an opening credit that reads “Perfume by Je Suis Gizella.” Strickland explains his reasoning for this in an interview with Jason Ward:
That perfume didn't exist. It does now. We didn't know we'd have such a strong reaction, so we've actually produced a limited edition perfume. I stole the idea from an Audrey Hepburn film, Paris When It Sizzles, which lists her perfume as being by Givenchy. Nobody's seen that film so I thought I could get away with it. My job is to get the audience in the world of the film as quickly as possible. Credits are not just functional, informational space -- you can play with them to create mood, and perfume makes you think this is a heady, sensual, decadent world.