by James Gilmore
Exterminating Angels (Les anges exterminateurs) by Jean-Claude Brisseau should have been a short film. Bloated with too many shenanigans and not enough story, the film contains all the elements of a deep story but fails to take the necessary steps required to achieve its goal or to adequately explore its thematic material. In short, it doesn’t provide a qualitative, coherent examination of the subject matter.
Not to downplay the surrealism of E.A., but many of the film’s elements are completely superfluous while the plot is not as solid as it needs to be. Instead, it seems to act as a vehicle to justify extended scenes of sexual indulgence.
Brisseau makes an attempt at unraveling the ambiguity of sexuality and sexual love, but the result is shallow despite its proposed depth and, if anything, comes across as simply old-fashioned. One can’t help but feel like the filmmaker thought he was being clever while sending a personal message of defiance directed toward his critics. However, the result is incoherent and superficial.