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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
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  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
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20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 114 mins . R . PAL


Reviews for films like Intimacy usually contain words like ‘obsession’, ‘voyeuristic’, ‘confronting’ and maybe even a ‘dichotomy’ or two thrown in for good measure.

But this is my review, and I tell it like it is. I’ll use words like ‘bum’, ‘boobs’, ‘knob’, ‘sex’, and ‘pervert’. Especially ‘pervert’.

Because that’s the main reason why people would watch this film. You’re a bunch of perverts. Oh, sure, you try to justify it by saying it was written by Hanif Kureishi who also wrote Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and My Beautiful Laundrette and that it’s an arthouse type film, but that’s kind of like saying you buy Chunky Butts magazine for the articles, isn’t it?

Admit it, if you ripped out all the rude sex bits, and there are a few explicit bits, then would you still like the film? I’m betting that not only would you not like it, but that you would never have heard about it in the first place because the film would never have been made.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude. Far from it in fact. I can be as perverted as the next pervert when I want to be. Whips, chains, leather, rubber, barbed wire, whatever. But if there’s anything that can ruin a movie for me, it’s scenes of sex and relationships. Borrring. A whole film based around sex and relationships? Even more boring. Isn’t that what porn is for? Why isn’t The Movie Show reviewing porn then?

Margaret Pomeranz: I thought the direction of Sex in the Circus was shocking, the acting non-existent but the story was an interesting cross of Sex in the City and Cirque du Soleil. I give it one star.
David Stratton: I have to disagree with you here. I really liked the guy dressed as the giraffe. I couldn’t believe what he did to that iguana! I’ll never take my children to the circus ever again though. Four stars from me.

I’m not going to be so generous with my rating, however. The story that relies so heavily on the sex scenes to prop up the limpness is nothing extraordinary. Once a week, a man and a woman get together and have sex. They do it in a dingy flat, on a floor, in doorways. They don’t say anything. They’re average looking people. It’s not like Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee playing pass the sausage on a boat. The guy, Jay, is separated from his wife and kids and at first is happy with the meaningless sex that obviously fulfils some need they both have. But then he gets stupid and decides he needs to know more about his partner-in-sex, and discovers that she has her own agenda...


The picture is letterboxed at 2.35:1, and while not an anamorphic transfer, it still looks okay. It could have used the extra resolution of an anamorphic image, with detail just a shade low, and soft compared to enhanced DVDs. Everything looks grim, dull and naturally lit, just like the real England, I guess. You wouldn’t go there based upon the look of this DVD. Some interiors and the finer levels of detail look a bit suspect at times with the grain but it’s tolerable. Colours are again pretty drab looking, with no real standout hues, and the overall impression one gets is best described as “gritty”.


Audio is courtesy of both DD5.1 (448kbps) and 2.0 stereo. Pick either one, there’s nothing here to surprise or confound you. Dialogue is mostly okay, with some dodgy moments hard to hear but nothing major. The soundstage is typically front heavy which didn’t surprise me, but it has a few small embellishments which give off directional cues and a bit of panning, so it’s not all bad. Like the picture, though, nothing really jumps out at you to signify that this is a great effort, but the transfer deals with it all competently on this DVD.


As for extras, there’s nothing to get excited about here. Five pages of Director’s Notes explaining the fascination with the story and the reason for making the film, a page outlining the Awards the film has won (beats me how) and Cast and Crew Filmographies. Also, not really an extra but still on the disc, there are two trailers for other films when the disc loads. These aren’t accessible from the menu.


As the director says in his notes on the DVD, they ask questions such as, “Who are they?”, “What do they want?” and “at what stage does love take part in their 'loving game'”? My answer to these questions: “Who knows?” “Who cares?” and “Huh?”

The quality of the transfer is average, the film is average (at best) and the extras are sub-average. Nothing much to get excited about here then. Unless you're one of those perverts I mentioned earlier, that is. In which case you'll probably be in rubber coat heaven during the naughty bits.

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      And I quote...
    "‘Bum’, ‘boobs’, ‘knob’, ‘sex’, and ‘pervert’. Especially ‘pervert’. "
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
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    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
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    • Audio Cables:
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    • Video Cables:
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