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There have been any number of films about lonely men who fall in love with a prostitute, but Camille Vidal-Naquet’s raw and visceral “Sauvage / Wild” is the rare film about a prostitute who falls in love with another man. But Leo can’t afford to be stingy with his affections; he’s driven by an insatiable and undiscriminating desire for intimacy.
An untethered 22-year-old sex worker who lives on the streets of Strasbourg, and is ferally embodied by Félix Maritaud (who played a supporting role in the bracing “BPM”), Leo doesn’t care about money or moving up in the world, nor does he resent his clients the way that some of his fellow sex workers do. In fact, he seems to lack any natural ability to separate feeling from ****, and he needs as much from his johns as his johns need from him. When Leo offers to spend the night in bed with a sad widower, his customer is surprised (and perhaps also a little suspicious). “Won’t you get bored?,” the old man asks. “No,” Leo replies, “because that’s what I want, too.” He just wants to be free. And he wants to be loved. And he wants to be free to be loved.
Vidal-Naquet - Debut - Wayward - Hero - Destabilizing
Vidal-Naquet’s dizzyingly restless debut introduces its wayward hero with a destabilizing vignette that gets into his pants and reveals a part of his soul. Handsome but unhygienic — like an adorable stray cat with two pierced nipples and a curious sore on his lip — Leo is lying down on a table and coughing up a lung as a doctor examines his groin through a pair of latex gloves. Jacques Giralt’s handheld camera, which shoots nudity like it doesn’t even notice it, watches impassively as the doctor examines the skin around Leo’s flaccid ****.
But the dynamic changes when...
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