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Lars von Trier in a nutshell.

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"She is naked. He takes a lipstick and draws circles around her lady business. And then they have sex. It is mirthless and unpleasant, both for us to watch and apparently for them to have. He cries afterward, for no discernible reason. His thoughts are narrated in a woman's voice. This is one of the Frenchest movies I have ever seen."
Eric D. Snider on Anatomy of Hell
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Euroshlock is a general term for a certain type of European arthouse films. They are typically studies of human sexuality, generally female sexuality as opposed to male. Homosexuality, BDSM and pedophilia are also occasionally dipped into. Consequently their transgressive elements tend to take the form of explicit sexual content, though they many times dip into Gorn as well.

The mileage of critics of these films tends to vary. Inevitably, one critic will decry the sex and violence and/or accuse them of being ponderous and pretentious, and one will praise them as a masterpiece for going where no other film has gone before and being an intelligent study of sexuality.

Gaspar Noe, Lars von Trier, Michael Haneke and Pier Paolo Pasolini are the kings of this trope. Catherine Breillat is the queen. The nation they rule is France. This trope arguably began in the 70s with Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Thierry Zeno's Vase de Noces, Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie and Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. It has seen something of a resurgence in the 2000s.

Despite (or because of) the frequent displays of graphic and kinky sex at work in these movies, they tend to be somewhat maudlin in tone and end on a downer, sometimes coming with the unfortunate message that "depraved" sex (or even sex in general) will only lead to misery and death.

These films are popular candidates for being Banned in China or Moral Guardians attempting to have them banned.

Contrast Le Film Artistique, which is too forbiddingly opaque and incomprehensible (and monochrome) to be offensive, and the Exploitation Film, a more morbid genre which emphasizes over-the-top violence, gore, nd sexuality.

Tropes common to these films:

Examples of Euroshlock include:

(Note: Films such as Cannibal Holocaust and those of Lucio Fulci are born out of a similar but separate tradition of surrealist-inspired Italian horror movies. Those films are composed of a series of strange, gory, and horrifying scenes which have little narrative relation. This separates them from the tradition of Euroshlock as defined here, which is more character-driven, features a more coherent narrative, and usually focuses on sex rather than on gore. Please do not add surrealist-inspired Italian horror movies to this list.)

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