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Secret Things
Secret Things
Actors: Aude Breusse, Blandine Bury, Patricia Candido Trinca, Lydia Chopart, Alain Couesnon
Director: Jean-Claude Brisseau
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2004     1hr 52min

SECRET THINGS is the story of two gorgeous young women who discover the power of sex as a tool to climb the social and professional ladder. Sandrine and Natalie work at a strip club; Natalie performs an erotic act on stage...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Aude Breusse, Blandine Bury, Patricia Candido Trinca, Lydia Chopart, Alain Couesnon
Director: Jean-Claude Brisseau
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: First Run Features
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/23/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Explicit Exploration of Sexual Power.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 11/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Secret Things" (Choses Secrètes) explores the desires, ambitions, and obsessions that lie beneath the surface of everyday behavior. Specifically, life in the business world conceals a host of psychosexual games. Nathalie (Coralie Revel) is a worldly erotic performer and Sandrine (Sabrina Seyvecou) is the fresh-faced bartender at a Paris club. When they both lose their jobs, they become roommates. Sandrine envies Nathalie's sexual self-confidence and abandon and is receptive to her lessons in life, sex, and manipulation. The two women set out to climb the socio-ecomomic ladder by seducing an earnest, dedicated senior employee (Roger Mirmont) at a company where they have both found employment The plan comes with some risk -in the form of the company's slick, megalomaniacal heir (Fabrice Deville)- that they may fall victim to their own machinations.

Sandrine narrates this bizarre tale of sexual power. The story could be told without voiceover narration, but, since it is essentially the story of Sandrine's self-discovery, the narration doesn't seem gratuitous and is only a little bit lazy. Probably the most helpful thing that I can say about "Secret Things" is that it is a film for certain tastes. This is talky, introverted, neurotic, psychosexual gobbledygook. It is French, in other words. There is a great deal of lesbian sex and nudity. The ideas presented in "Secret Things" are not original, but most of the film is sufficiently seductive and unpredictable to keep the audience wondering how it will all turn out. That is not to say that it is realistic. There is a point at which the story goes over the top and, in my view, becomes laughably baroque and uninteresting. But "Secret Things " is generally enjoyable if you like heavy-handed, explicit treatises on sexual power. In French with English subtitles.

The DVD: Bonus features include a "Photo Gallery" featuring stills from the movie and a text "Director Biography and Filmography"."
Seven Deadly Sins in One Movie
Mr D. | Cave Creek, Az United States | 01/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

Roommates Nathalie (Coralie Revel) and Sandrine (Sabrina Seyvecou) compose a strategy to dispense sex strategically to manipulate men into submission for financial gain and advancement. They commence their plan at a large prestigious Paris brokerage house. After initial successes and rapid advancement, they meet their match in the company CEO, Christophe (Fabrice Deville) the handsome amoral son of the company's founder.

A shapely woman reclines on a day bed. She is restless and she is NAKED. A spotlight seems to highlight her gyrations and machinations. She sits up and slips into high-heeled sandals. She leans back and puffs out her chest. She places one hand upon her breast and kneads her nipple. The hand moves down across her midriff to her sex and she massages it. Suddenly she stands up and deliberately struts across the hardwood floor. After a dozen or so purposeful steps, facing the camera, she lowers herself to her knees and bends back once again. The spotlight is still on her as she masturbates and as she masturbates, the camera pans right. After panning about ninety degrees, you start to see people sitting at tables and the more it pans, you realize you are in a nightclub and the woman is an exotic performer. The woman is Nathalie.

Nathalie and Sandrine a recently hired bartender were fired that night because Nathalie would not allow the owner to force Sandrine to sleep with a customer. Tossed out on the street with nowhere to go, Sandrine accepted Nathalie's offer to spend the night. At her apartment, Nathalie urges Sandrine to loosen up after she admitted to admiring Nathalie's nerve and lack of inhibitions.

Nathalie, with her dry humor and strong will, made Sandrine laugh and eventually coerced her to do in front of her what Nathalie had done in front of an audience. With that, the bond was sealed and plans were laid, based on Nathalie's distorted view of love and sex, to manipulate all men and make a place in society for themselves. After the women's initial successes and having compromised their boss Delacroix, (Roger Mirmont), their plan begins to devolve into a whirlpool of ruthlessness, unrequited love, group sex, lesbian sex, three-way sex, and masturbation, in which the only way out appears to be suicide or murder.


The highly charged erotic opening scene set the theme for the movie so well, that I was mesmerized for the rest of the movie. True nothing that came after, with the possible exception of an "Eyes Wide Shut" style orgy scene late in the movie, was quite as electric but I still enjoyed the movie immensely. You see Secret Things had a story. It had a plot. A good story, a good plot, and the overall acting was very good. Secret Things is the closest I have viewed to a commercially viable, mainstream, erotic movie.

The movie Secret Things is appropriately named. The storyline is structured on secrets, deception and the duplicitous side of human nature. It is a reflection of a murky, lascivious side of life, which rarely is truly, captured on film. In fact the movie seemed to touch on one form or another, at one point or another, on all of `The Seven Deadly Sins' - pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth, obviously a perfect sinister erotic movie.

Secret Things, French name - Choses Secretes, is the kind of movie one either loves or hates. I happened to be a lover. Even the fact that the movie was French with English sub titles did not dampen my enjoyment."
Overheated, pretentious...and maybe worth a look
Kenji Fujishima | East Brunswick, NJ USA | 01/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had first heard about Jean-Claude Brisseau's SECRET THINGS from eminent film critic Roger Ebert, who reviewed the movie on one episode of his EBERT & ROEPER show and gave it a thumbs-up, saying that it was one of those rare erotic films that was also well-made and fascinating. Being a 19-year-old horny college student myself (hehehe), I became rather interested in seeing this film when it came out on DVD. Now that I have, my reactions to it is decidedly mixed. I was frustrated while watching it, but after it was over I rather admired it for its sheer ambition.

SECRET THINGS is basically about two women's attempt to try to climb up the business ladder at a company by seducing their way up. Seems like a simple-enough plot...except that, in the hands of Brisseau, it leads to twists and turns that can best be described as surreal and over-the-top. What turns out to be an unassuming little drama about sex and power becomes what you might call a morality play, one that is heavy with atmosphere and symbolism. Who would have known that a scene in which one of the characters sits in a chair at her office and quietly masturbates in front of her boss would eventually lead to a scene set in what seems like some kind of mansion/dungeon in which a lot of people engage in a mass orgy?

It wasn't that I necessarily minded Brisseau's blatant descent into this kind of expressionism; my problem was simply that much of it came to seem too pretentious. The increasingly heavy-handed dialogue, the portentous Baroque music of the soundtrack, the all-too-obvious symbol of the woman draped in black with the bird on her right shoulder---all of that reeked of a writer-director that seemed too much in love with his own wit. There's clever, and then there's too clever, and Brisseau flirts frequently with coming off as too clever for his own good: all that self-conscious trickery risks obscuring whatever message he's trying to convey. It's as if he's laughing at the fate of his own characters, keeping his emotional distance as he eventually destroys them.

All of that may sound like I do not like this movie very much. And yet, after I finished watching it and reflected a bit upon it, I realized what perhaps Brisseau was getting at with all of this over-the-top style. The movie at first seems to be about female empowerment, as the two main female characters Nathalie (Coralie Revel) and Sandrine (Sabrina Seyvecou) hatch their scheme to try to get to the top. But SECRET THINGS turns out to be something a little more universal and a little less gender-specific: it's about how the quest for power can corrupt the soul, can make you a little less human. Perhaps it is telling that Sandrine, who admits that she has never come with another man, finally reaches orgasm with the evil Christophe (Fabrice Deville), the arrogant, cocky young ladykiller who is all set to inherit the business from his ailing father. Sandrine herself has gone so far in her quest to climb the corporate ladder that in the process she loses her innocence and ideals about love and rejects Delacroix (Roger Mirmont), her boss at the office, as a mere "weakling" instead of realizing that he is truly in love with her. Nathalie, on the other hand, starts out as cynical about love in the movie, but slowly starts shedding that cynicism as she starts falling in love herself. The ending of the film, contrary to what some people have said about it, is perfectly logical in the context of Brisseau's exploration of the search for power as highlighting the dark night of the human soul.

In the end, as I began to put the pieces of this movie together, I began to develop some more admiration for what Brisseau pulled off in SECRET THINGS. Power as a corrupting force is not a breathtakingly original theme to movies (look at what happened to Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's SCARFACE), but Brisseau explores it in a daring, boldly original, and even relevant, way that certainly will fascinate you even if it occasionally frustrates you. Most viewers will probably find this film to be overheated and almost insufferably pretentious; but, look a little deeper, and perhaps the style of the film and its substance will come together in a way that will make you respect it, if not necessarily love it. I think SECRET THINGS is worth a look, despite reservations."
An interesting alternative to the usual by-the-numbers Ameri
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 08/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Two female roommates in Paris employ their sensual powers to move up the corporate ladder and to establish a network of guys to essentially use as they will, both financially and emotionally. As expected, there's lots of sex (oh, those French), but in the end this is a real movie with some interesting things to say. However, without revealing too much, I will say this: in the movie's closing moments, we learn that a character has gotten off ridiculously and unbelievably easy for committing a capital crime several scenes earlier, which took me out of the story for a moment or two. Having said that, this movie is still definitely worth a look. The DVD features a nice, sharp widescreen image and a few modest extras."