Paris, 1931. Henry Miller is writing Tropic Of Cancer. A 19-year-old Uma Thurman is playing his wife in a film adaptation of Anaïs Nin‘s (played by Maria de Medeiros) book - Henry & June, directed by Philip Kaufman (The Unbearable Lightness Of Being.) All the pieces are there for a great movie.
The film is a landmark for the mainstream erotic genre, it was the first film to get the MPAA’s newly introduced NC-17 rating. The controversial film includes scenes of Anaïs slow-dancing (and deep lesbian kissing) with June in an underground lesbian club, Anaïs’ many passionate couplings with Henry during their affair together and simultaneously with her lover/cousin Eduardo (Jean-Philippe Écoffey); also the exhibition of lesbian love-making in a private show in a mirrored brothel room between Henry’s blonde squeeze (Brigitte Lahaie) and another frail prostitute (Maïté Maillé) – when Anaïs advised the aggressive female: “stop pretending to be a man”; the scene of Anaïs’ descriptive and hallucinatory dream-fantasy of sex with June in an upper loft, experiencing ‘abnormal pleasures’ (“I begged her to undress. I asked her to let me see between her legs. As she lay over me, I felt a penis touching me…”); also Anaïs’ climactic love-making with Henry after he had finished his novel ‘Tropic of Cancer’ while Eduardo was downstairs; and the concluding scene of Anais and June getting together for love-making (while Henry was asleep in another room of the house).
I couldn’t find the particular scene I wanted to show here, but I did find these two clips. It’s a film worth checking out, although I did prefer Kaufman’s Unbearable Lightness Of Being.