This is a recap with every spoiler imaginable, if you’re looking for a review sans-spoilers, click here.
I was originally going to write this in a way that was similar to my recap/review of Secretary, which included notes from the DVD commentary by the writer and the director. Peter Strickland both wrote and directed Duke of Burgundy and I was looking forward to some illumination on certain things. For the most part I didn’t get what I was looking for.
Strickland is a director’s director. He said in an interview that he’s not an actor’s director and that was no understatement. His references and homages were all for films I had never heard of. I’m not a cinephile, so fair dues. A decent amount of time is spent talking about technical aspects of filmmaking. If you know/care nothing of that sort of thing it’s rather like listening to people talk about complex maths or the pros and cons of one Pantone shade of blue versus the very next shade lighter. With great enthusiasm.
Strickland is also extremely British. He has a terminal case of HughGrantitis. The man never met a sentence he didn’t need to re-start fourteen times.
What I’m trying to say is: he spoke nearly the entire commentary but didn’t say much that would enhance this recap.
I love your film, Mr Strickland, it’s in my top five, if not my number one, but wow, sir, your commentary made me cry.
[Still, anything from the commentary that was useful will be in brackets.]
*My personal thoughts/comments will follow an asterisk.
–Obvious places where deleted scenes included in the DVD extras would have gone will be between emdashes–
At the end of this recap will be information on DVD extras like deleted scenes, stills galleries and such.
Obviously, all of the spoilers below and because it’s a long piece, I’m putting the rest of the post behind a break.
Before I get to it, a note about images in this post. The gifs are from the inimitable Governors, Captains & Officers [source link now dead], and screenshots are mine. I hadn’t intended to do as many as I wound up making, but I discovered the gallery feature (after using WordPress for five years) so there are hundreds of images. Prepare yourself.