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Acrobat (The)

Country: Canada, Language: French | Russian | English, 132 mins

Original Title

  • Director: Rodrigue Jean
  • Writer: Rodrigue Jean
  • Producer: Maxime Bernard

CGiii Comment

Why take 132 minutes to tell a story, when 90 would have been quite sufficient?

Basically, The Acrobat is arthouse porn...there is no other way to describe it. Every 20 or so minutes, they get their kit off and go at it like two ultra-violent, S&M bunnies. This is sex, not love. This is about the differences between being out-of-control and in-control in an in-and-out-of-controlled situation...where the dominated is in the dominion of the dominator...but, not at his mercy...indeed, the complexity of the situation is far from's the submissive who's righting the wrongs and re-writing the rules. Having lost everything, he's calling all the shots...self-esteem may be the only things he has left and that's about to go tits up...or, is it? For some, [sexual] humiliation is the ultimate expression of self-worth...admittedly, that's a bit of a mindf&*k...but, ask yourself: Why do [some] people want to be humiliated? Because, they can? Because they allow it? Who really has the power in these situations? It is an utterly fascinating power struggle...and, it is - quite possibly - the most artful and involving pornography you will ever see. True, it's uncomfortable to watch...because, perhaps, it's so mind-blowingly arousing!

Between this porno-punctuation exists two thoroughly interesting stories [although neither are fleshed out to their true potential]...instead, time is wasted with a whole lot of unnecessary cityscapes and acrobatic sequences that do nothing to propel their stories forward. Still, this disconnection may have been the director's intention...these men connect [only] physically. Emotion, it would seem, is their true, genuine release...and, by god, the director makes sure that that release takes its time!

This is a beautifully shot film...with a damn decent will - most definitely -'s just a pity that it takes so long to throw down the gauntlet!


The(ir) Blurb...

Montreal is snowed under. While the downtown cranes dance their hypnotic ballet, two strangers meet randomly in an unfinished apartment. Their chance encounter leads to a violent attraction and a dependency beyond reason. One man is a Russian-born professional acrobat whose future is jeopardized by a broken leg. The other is a buttoned-down, well groomed man of few words. Which one dominates? Which one manipulates? As it turns out, love is painful and human relations are complex. For his dreamy, meditative sixth feature, Rodrigue Jean trains his singular lens on a story both mysterious and sexually explicit.

Cast & Characters

Sébastien Ricard as Christophe
Yury Paulau as Micha
Victor Fomine as Louis
Chloé Germentier as Tracy Ling
Amine Farhat as Guard