Give a jailed 18th-Century sex scribe a website and you can expect a strange trip. The official site (www.quillsmovie.com) for the Marquis de Sade film Quills (which stars Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet, in theaters Nov. 22) takes you on two journeys — one through Virtue and one through Vice.
Though the time line’s (1500 BC-1978 AD) title, ”A History of Pleasure,” leads you to believe you’re in for a lesson in earthly delights, you really get a history of sex laws and contraception. Interesting? Sure. Stimulating? Not exactly.
”Probing Questions, Revealing Answers” points out the connection between the Marquis and ’80s pop sham Milli Vanilli (de Sade used vanilla to enhance sexual pleasure, calling it ”Vanille et Manille”).
WHAT THE SITE DOESN’T SAY
The French fetishist has an eclectic modern fan base: Musicians like Judy Collins, Enigma, and the Smashing Pumpkins have all referenced him in their songs.
MAYBE LEO WASN’T ALL THAT
The ”Exposures” section features a QuickTime clip of a highly charged seduction scene between Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet.
BUT BEAR THIS IN MIND
Obviously unafraid of post-Titanic typecasting, Winslet kissed another man twice her age, Harvey Keitel, in the 1999 drama Holy Smoke!.
The lushly crafted ”Virtue” page concentrates mainly on the film. The goodness can get cloying (white doves and violin strains), and you mostly see bios of cast and crew. To turn up the heat, stream the sensual trailer — you can almost hear the bodices ripping.