Perhaps it is generations of bastard-cheese-fed Caucasians strutting the stages of the world performing “Les Miserables” in Frogface that did it (and Russell Crowe that threw Croissanwiches on the grave), but newly-unearthed photographs from the racy Louis Malle flick “Les Amants” reveal that France is just as ashamed of its love of feet as Germany and Japan are not of theirs of poo.
Foot shame, or l’horreur des pieds, is common throughout the salons and snuffalupaguseries of France, leading to widespread italicization. The helmeted Daft Punk, upon receipt of their 2014 Grammy for “Random Access Memories,” voiced the national shame when they said, “We cover our heads but we want to cover our feet more.”
But it was 1958’s “Les Amants” (“The Lovers”-Ed) that began kicking the toe-ball of foot-shame down the pedestrian walkway across the piedmont of Doubt and Regret.
Jeanne Moreau plays a bored upper-class housewife who dabbles with lovers and eventually runs off with a younger man. The movie’s depictions of boat sex (not goat sex: boat sex) shocked audiences in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, resulting in an obscenity case that caused Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart to declare of feet: “I know it when I see it.”
Here’s the kicker*: While the movie features Moreau straddling the piggies of her brie-snorting trystmate, the movie poster shows the same scene, except this time she’s holding her lover’s hands.
I called no one, and asked no one’s opinion of this matter, for this story. That is how important it is.
That is not to say the world’s sex positive community isn’t up in, er, arms about this.
“Trigger Warning: I feel unsafe and am calling you out,” one sex educator blogged about something else. “Sapiosexuals won’t stand for it and I am so lonely since I got herpes at the cuddle party.”
It was only after Louis Malle’s move to America that he began to be comfortable with what hE called “l’appendice du néant.” 1981’s exquisite “My Dinner with Andre” was filmed entirely under a table and made stars of the feet of Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory.