Why do so many feminist movies about sexuality turn out to be as schematic and hostile as low-grade porn? There are moments in Erotique‘s three-episode erotic fantasy when you can feel the filmmakers reaching for something lusty and true. The first segment, Lizzie Borden’s ”Let’s Talk About Sex,” entertains us with the goings-on at a Los Angeles phone-sex service — a joke done to subtler effect in Short Cuts, though it’s always good for a chuckle. In the second episode, ”Taboo Parlor,” directed by Germany’s Monika Treut, a pair of predatory Eurotrash lesbians pique our interest as they go out in search of a boy toy. Each segment, however, winds its way toward a thin, didactic kicker (the boy toy ends up paying for his pleasure by getting blown up). By the time the film lands in Hong Kong for Clara Law’s overly farcical ”Wonton Soup,” in which two long-distance lovers rekindle their affair via a sacred manual of sexual positions, the notion that sex and love could actually go together has come to seem a bizarre novelty, rather than a springboard for genuine erotic spectacle. C

  • Movie
  • 93 minutes