search

The Look of Love

The Look of Love

“My name is Paul Raymond,” coos Steve Coogan, playing Britain’s greatest porn king. “Welcome to my world of erotica.” So begins this funny and touching film about “the grandfather of Soho”.

The film was its star’s idea and he teams up with director Michael Winterbottom for the fourth time to create a perfect vehicle for his comic talent and growing dramatic maturity. Using flashbacks, it tells Raymond’s story over 50 years from his birth in Liverpool as Geoffrey Quinn, through his time as a mind-reader on Clacton pier and his arrival in London, to 1992, when he was named richest man in Britain. Its focuses on his relationship with the three most important women in his life: his wife and choreographer Jean, his lover Amber (who became the Men Only columnist Fiona Richmond), and his daughter Debbie.

Its vision is kindly. The humour of Coogan’s performance and Matt Greenhalgh’s taut screenplay make Raymond, who died in 2008, into a lovable figure. He may have been be a sex addict, the film suggests, but he’s honest about it. He may spoil his daughter rotten, giving her all the cake and coke she asks for, but he loves her deeply, and her untimely death destroys him inside.

As presented here, Raymond’s ingenuity and his talent for PR are awe-inspiring. When a newspaper pans his play for “arbitrary displays of naked flesh”, he posts the quote outside the theatre. But when a director suggests staging a ravishment scene featuring both Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan, he draws a line. “You can’t have rape and pillage twice,” he reasons. “That’s too much.”

The film’s weakness is that Winterbottom’s closeness to the Raymond family, who still own large parts of Soho and helped secure access to historically authentic locations, seems to have led him to take a positive, even hagiographic, view of his subject. Winterbottom claimed his intention was to tell “a King Midas story and a morality tale”, which makes it sound like a new version of Citizen Kane. As it is, Raymond’s journey into solitude and regret doesn’t move from the specific to the universal.

— Sebastian Doggart, The Telegraph

The Look of Love

Wed September 25, 2013, 7:00 & 9:15, Muenzinger Auditorium

UK, 2012, English, Color, 101 mins, DP, 2.35:1, NR • official site

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cover art for Spring 2 2022
Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists