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WHAT'S NEW ? 2004


29 JULY 2004: My thanks to AL for informing me about an article and to NH for sending me a copy of same article,
which appeared in the UK Sunday Observer newspaper last Sunday. To read the article click on:

Latest on:

The Story of O: Untold Pleasures
( USA, dir Phil Leirness, 2001 )

"The Story of O: Untold Pleasures" opened in Japanese cinemas today (26 June 2004)

Emailed to this website:

Just wanted to let you know that "The Story of O: Untold Pleasures" opened in Japanese cinemas today (26 June 2004). U.S. and the rest of the world soon to follow (or so I am told). All the Best,

Phil Leirness

Latest on:

The Story of O: Untold Pleasures
( USA, dir Phil Leirness, 2001 )

( Phil Leirness to Mike C....... many thanks Mike, - Stefan)

February 04, 2004
Subject: Re: The Story of O: Untold Pleasures

> Thanks for your interest in "The Story of O". The film is tentatively slated for a theatrical release in major cities this Spring. Stay tuned to this site for details. The home video/dvd release is slated for fall.

More information below...

NEW Issue 2 Feb04 : NU BLUE CD-rom magazine of erotic art from Art2b
features the art of Stefan including his series of paintings inspired by Story of the Eye

Click here to buy :

* Still Available *


from The TIMES August 2003:

"The Bookseller noted that the most stolen book in Norwegian bookshops was Pauline Reage's sado-masochistic The Story of O - to the extent that the publishers have now put a band round it saying "Norway's Most Stolen Book" ."

2003 Archive: WHAT'S NEW ?

Wicked Art 'n' Cabaret in London

2 December 03 : Club Wicked celebrates erotica

See recent paintings by Stefan at Club Wicked, 4 Tooley Street, Under London Bridge, London, SE1 2SY

The Association of British, Commonwealth and European Erotic Artists

is pleased to announce that it is being represented at the monthly exhibition and Cabaret
night being held at London's Club Wicked.


NEW Nov 03 : NU BLUE CD-rom magazine of erotic art from Art2b
features the art of Stefan including his series of paintings entitled Stories of O.

Nu Blue CD-Rom Magazine Issue 1 was successfully launched at EROTICA 03 and features artworks, photography, sculpture,
short films and more from artists: Paul Woods, Christopher John Ball, Stefan, Origane, Carrie White,
Rosaleen Young, Ray Leaning, Ian David Baker, China Hamilton and Len Gifford.

Click here to buy :


Sad news of comic strip artist Guido Crepax
who has died of multiple sclerosis aged 70:

Guido Crepax
The Guardian: Monday August 4, 2003

The Italian erotic cartoonist Guido Crepax, who has died of multiple sclerosis aged 70, was best known as the creator of Valentina, a sensuous Milan photographer whose sadomasochistic adventures infuriated feminists and captivated the fantasy of generations of Italian males.

Valentina was born by chance in May 1965, appearing as a secondary character in the third issue of the cartoon monthly Linus. But her minor role, as the girlfriend of art critic and amateur sleuth Philip Rembrandt - also known as Neutron because of his capacity to freeze people with his penetrating gaze - was soon transformed to overshadow that of the original protagonist.

Her pudding-bowl haircut, sinuous body, sensuous lips and "most beautiful bottom in the world" became a symbol of subtle eroticism at a time when Italian society was coming to terms with a new era of sexual liberation. Her uninhibited fantasies derived from the world of dreams and psychoanalysis, but she was firmly anchored in the flesh, and in contemporary Italian reality. Her style captured the spirit of the Milan fashion world two decades before it fully flowered.

Valentina Rosselli was named after the resistance heroes Nello and Carlo Rosselli; she was (ostensibly) born in 1942, married to the colourless Rembrandt and had a child named Mattia. She lived in Milan's Via De Amicis, at the same address as Crepax, and her apartment was full of the books that animated the intellectual life of Crepax and his circle.

Unusually for a cartoon heroine, she showed signs of ageing, before being summarily dumped by her author in 1995. "When I was a kid, I used to hate the fact that cartoon characters never grew old," Crepax explained.

Inspired by the silent movie actor Louise Brooks, and by Crepax's own wife, Luisa, Valentina presented something of a dilemma for Italian feminists. They approved of her sexual emancipation and Trotskyite politics, but were less taken by her fantasies and the speed with which she peeled off her clothes.

The confusion between her roles as sexual actor and sex object left many feeling uneasy. For the psychologist Silvia Vegetti Finzi, she represented a "missed emancipation", achieving parity with men but then squandering it in a passive acceptance of male desire.

Graziano Frediani, a biographer of Crepax, described Valentina as a modern-day Madame Bovary, free to live out her dreams and obsessions. Crepax was an innovator in his art, Frediani said, introducing alternatives to the traditional filmstrip cartoon format and inserting boxes with close-ups of details - the cartoon equivalent of the zoom lens.

Guido Crepas, who assumed the pen-name Crepax, was born in Milan of a Venetian family. His father was a cellist at La Scala. He began working as a graphic artist while studying architecture at Milan University, where he graduated in 1958. His design work included advertising posters, record sleeves - among them Domenico Modugno's hit Volare - and book covers. His publicity campaign for Shell Oil won him a prize in 1957.

Influenced by the optical art movement in Milan, and a lover of cinema and jazz, Crepax found his vocation with the enigmatic figure of Valentina. The strip sold successfully in France, Spain, Germany, Japan and the United States. Crepax's damsels in distress pushed back the frontiers of taste but rarely lapsed into vulgarity. "I have drawn whips, chains and bonds of all kinds," he said. "But I hate violence, lack of respect for oneself or for others, and all forms of excess. There is never a single drop of blood."

Crepax created a series of lesser known female characters - Belinda, Bianca and Anita among them - and illustrated such classics of erotic fiction as De Sade's Justine and Pauline Reage's Story Of O. Valentina was twice adapted for the screen: in the 1973 Franco-Italian production Baba Yaga, and as a television series, starring the American actor Demetra Hampton. Both were a disappointment for her author.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

Guido Crepax, cartoonist, born July 15 1933; died July 31 2003


LARS VON TRIER at the Cannes film festival :

(22/5/03) This week the internet and film press have been buzzing with the news of the premiere of Lars Von Trier's Dogville at the Cannes film festival. Its star Nicole (Eyes Wide Shut) Kidman is the hot tip to win the best actress prize.

Anyone who doubts Von Trier has more than a passing interest in Story of O should check out his early short film Menthe - la bienheureuse (1979 ), a veritable hommage to Pauline Reage and Story of O ( see 'O-bibliography' on this site ), and it is perhaps not by chance that Story of O movie actor Udo Kier turns up in a particularly sadomasochistic scene in Von Trier's Breaking the Waves. Kier turns up again in Dogville.

Unfolding in nine segments and a prologue, Dogville tells the story of the beautiful fugitive Grace (Kidman) who on the run from a collection of gangsters that include Udo Kier and Jean Marc Barr, arrives in the isolated community of Dogville seeking sanctuary and throws herself on the kindness of strangers.

The film was shot on a stage set with no actual buildings, and required Kidman to drag around a weighted chain attached to her neck and play opposite a dog that is actually a chalk drawing on the ground. Despite these hardships, and the fact that Kidman and Von Trier had a three-hour screaming match in a forest to clear the air while shooting, Kidman pledged this week, in front of hundreds of journalists, to extend the film into a trilogy.

Kidman's character Grace has clear affinities with the innocent, tortured, self-sacrificing heroines of Von Trier's Breaking The Waves and Palme d'Or winner Dancer In The Dark. She may be the most worldly of them but she may also be the purest of heart. As Dogville unfolds we see the initial instinctive act of compassion by the town sour into grotesque exploitation as Grace is made to suffer for every kind word and thoughtful gesture that she has received. Ultimately Grace becomes little more than an indentured servant and sexual slave. By the end of this long, long film, Von Trier wants us to believe that the human species is just naturally inclined toward evil and, that like a dog who cannot help but behave in a dog-like fashion, humans simply can't be expected to live up to their own high ideals.

JUST PUBLISHED (August 03) :
Lars Von Trier: Interviews ( edited by Jan Lumholdt )

Information is still welcome about the promised release in whatever form of the 'new' movie Story of O - Untold Pleasures (See archive What's New? below....)

Wanted: Want to sell your pre-loved Story of O books, videos, dvds, film posters etc.??? - Visitors to this site are looking for 1st edition paperbacks plus dvds of Story of O the Series. I can pass on details of items for sale. E-mails welcome...

"O" Painting in print:

Stefan's "The Owl Mask", one of a series of large oil paintings inspired by Story of O, is featured in the February issue of the UK magazine The Erotic Review. The painting ( unfortunately cropped! ) accompanies a light hearted but entertaining article by "hot young author" Lisa Hilton detailing O's shopping habits in the novel Story of O. The Erotic Review is available from:

The Erotic Review, 4th floor, 1 Maddox St, London W1S 2PZ. <[email protected]>

S & M Art & Poetry Exhibition:

Etchings on an 'O' theme by Gareth Boyd Phillips and several oil paintings by Stefan including "Roissy", had a showing in January as part of The Deep Space Art Show. The event "celebrating the Art of Dominance & Submission" was organised by UK poet Elle Finn and was held for one evening at The Smugglers Tavern in London's Warren Street. Eylau showed a number of his video shorts including 'Love Songes on Pale Vertebrae' a filmed montage of images from Stefan's 'Stories of O' paintings set to music.

Around 75 visitors to the tavern during the evening enjoyed a drink, a little poetry, a chat, and a pub full of art. This was possibly the first such event of its kind.

New "O" Web Site:

This is worth a look. There is potential and as always the possibility of learning something new about our favourite subject. The web site address is:

See also: LINKS page on this web site.

Pound of Paper 'O' feature:

Following his entertaining 'taster' in the Sydney Morning Herald last year,

novelist, broadcaster, film biographer, John Baxter has devoted six pages of his new book A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict to Story of O and L'Image detailing how Pauline Reage revealed her true identity at the funeral of her lover Jean Paulhan and how a German "expert" came to the mistaken conclusion Story of O and The Image were written by the same hand! Pound of Paper is a great read for anyone who has even the smallest of book collections sitting on the shelf. It is available now from Doubleday/Transworld/Random House:

BUY NOW from:

Check out New O Links at my Links Page

2002 archive: WHAT'S NEW ?

O-translator Adriaan Morriën dies at 90...

One of his aphorisms: "Dying would be very agreeable if you could try it more often. "

H. Vandebent June 2002: The always-young Dutch author and translator Adriaan Morriën (1912-2002) died last week, a few days after his 90th birthday. In the Netherlands he was a famous poet, writing as if in love with life. In his poetry simple words change common things into delicacies. Although only a small part of his work involved love, he was called an amorist poet. His tender observations of young women are part of the few high peaks of lowland literature.

In the sixties Morriën was a prominent literary critic. He also was an advisor for the major literary publisher De Bezige Bij in Amsterdam. Due to Morriëns translation in 1969 Histoire dO was in the Netherlands acknowledged to be a real masterpiece. We will have to wait for a biographer to unveil Morriëns involvement in the Parisian literary circles around this book. This would certainly fit in the reputation he carefully managed to build.

In a 1993 documentary on Dutch national television he told that he - on the day of his marriage - made up his mind never to be faithful to his wife. Although he never was very successful or wealthy he surrounded himself with good-looking young girlfriends. He claimed to have hardly any morals and called himself a libertine loafer. Although he really was a gentle and sweet person he caused quite a few scandals, for instance when he had a nude picture with his two daughters printed on his book Roddelverhalen (Backbite stories). While giving lectures travelling through Holland with his middle-aged daughters, the three of them always shared the same hotelroom. Asked by a rude journalist whether he actually slept with his daughters, Morriën answered that they were way too old for his liking. In the same documentary the two daughters - who by the way share the same husband - solemnly declare that their father didnt bring a whip either.

Adriaan Morriën most certainly was a cult figure. He lived in an unarranged disorderly warehouse full of paperwork and notes. Let us hope everything will be sorted out now. Who knows what secrets are hidden there? A direct connection with Jean-Jacques Pauvert and Dominique Aury is very likely to surface from under the dust. -


Reage/Aury: The PARIS YEARS - A MOVIE ?

After a number of screenplay rewrites a film based around the story of the Olympia
Press (Paris) is still in the pipeline. This from John de St. Jorre's website:


" While researching THE GOOD SHIP VENUS (VENUS BOUND in the USA), his highly praised book on the Olympia Press and its writers, de St. Jorre unraveled a forty-year-old literary mystery by discovering the true author of this French erotic classic. He interviewed Dominique Aury many times and the chapter in the book was published as a profile in THE NEW YORKER. Its appearance, in July 1994, attracted world media attention and led to the purchase of the film rights by Dan Wigutow Productions in New York, where it is currently under development. "


Anthony Steele was remembered briefly at the BAFTA film awards in London as part of the roll call of film and tv
personalities lost to the industry during the last twelve months. Several shots of Steele at his matineé idol best were
featured on the stage screen in front of the capacity audience of BAFTA award winners and nominees.

'O' Film



"I just wanted to touch base with you and give you the latest news, ... the film, it will be screening in New York in early October as part of the 3rd Annual S & M Film Festival. I will be attending. Plans for a theatrical release in the U.S. (through Pathfinder Pictures) are still on track. On a personal note, Pathfinder Home Entertainment is releasing my previous film, "The Party Crashers" on DVD and VHS in the U.S. (street date: October 8). If interested, anyone can order advance copies at

All the Best, Phil Leirness"

THIS FROM YAHOO 'O' GROUP: 27 September 2002

New York Premiere! 11 October 9pm
The Story Of O: Untold Pleasures
Location: Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave., NYC

Phil Leirness, 2001, USA, 99 minutes. (Director Phil Leirness will be on hand after the screening for an audience Q&A.)


"Story of O: Untold Pleasures"

Credited cast :

Danielle Ciardi .... O
Neil Dickson .... Sir Stephen
Max Parrish .... Rene
Michelle Ruben .... Jacqueline

"O" is a talented photographer in her late twenties with a promising career ahead of her. She is torn, however, between the tasks
financial realities are forcing upon her and between her own artistic aims. Encouraged by her boyfriend, Rene,
"O" decides that she should pursue her artistic passion without reservation, setting aside financial realities until she has completed her
very beautiful, avant-garde book of original photos. In hopes of enabling "O" to focus her energies on the book, Rene introduces
her to a mysterious benefactor, the wealthy and powerful Sir Stephen. What starts out as a promising arrangement, turns out to be
self-destructive for "O". She allows outside influences to corrupt her artistic vision, as she is drawn into a seductive world of
deceit, power, and eroticism.
Summary written by Phil Leirness



Starring Danielle Ciardi, Neil Dickson, Max Parrish, Michele Ruben

Produced by Pierre-Richard Muller (USA)

Screenplay (in English) [from the novel by Pauline Reage]


Premiere Screening : Screened recently at the 21st American Film Market at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Le Merigot Hotel, Santa Monica Promenade Santa Monica, California, USA (Wednesday, February 21 ~ 28, 2001) 'The Story of O: Untold Pleasures' is now hopefully somewhere closer to a theatrical or DVD release in 2002. Further information welcome:

Email [email protected]

About the Director - PHIL LEIRNESS :

(Producer, Writer, Director, Whatever.) Phil Leirness was a published film critic, a television host in his native San Francisco Bay Area, and a stand-up comic before attending the UCLA Film School where he wrote, directed, co-produced and acted in an award-winning thesis film, Through Nights that Never End.

After completing film school, Mr. Leirness made several educational and training films before making his feature film debut as a writer-director with 'Til Death Do Us Part. A low-budget romantic comedy focusing on a love triangle, the film was distributed internationally by Solomon International Enterprises.

Mr. Leirness produced and directed an industrial film and several commercials before writing, producing, directing, and acting in The Party Crashers. This dark comedy about a Hollywood party held hostage played numerous film festivals around the world, and is being distributed internationally by Cinema Arts Entertainment. The film received its first U.S. theatrical engagements in July of 2001 and will be playing additional cities through early 2002. To learn more about the film Daily Variety called "Slyly amusing . . . good-looking, technically resourceful, attractively cast and assuredly paced," visit the official website:

Currently, Mr. Leirness is finishing post-production on a modern-day, English-language remake of The Story of O. The film is slated for a nationwide U.S. release in 2002. In addition, Mr. Leirness is developing several features for Shadowland, the feature film and music video division he helped found for Pasadena-based GOAL Productions.

Now thirty-three years old, Mr. Leirness has directed stage shows at the Acme Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles, has served as an advisor on student films, and is a private acting coach. He lists his hobbies as playing basketball and tennis, listening to Sinatra, meeting deadlines, drinking vodka and nursing his ulcer.

Phil Leirness directing

UPDATE: June 2002 "Untold O at Cannes" from J :

"I recently returned from Cannes, which was a good one indeed. They even had a market screening - which means buyers and programmers only, NO press - of The Story of O: Untold Pleasures, and boy are they untold... a friend tried to get into it and was not let in. I guess that Leirness is pissed off because of that video copy that once got into the hands of an unfriendly witness. But still it, the cliffhanger of this seemingly weak interpretation of Reage's masterpiece, at least was shown. Once. To a very small audience. It must have been like that legendary event in 1924 when Erich von Stroheim screened the original nine-hour version of "Greed" to a handful of invitees... and then again, it might not..."


November 2001:
A member of a 'Yahoo Community' has posted the following:

"Phaedra does not list the "Story of O: Untold Pleasures" in its planned releases for the next eighteen months. This means that the film is still being held up in one of those "artistic" disputes that only occur in Hollywood. Once this "dispute" is resolved look for a sudden US showing with a swift VHS/DVD release where the real profits are to be made with this type of film." (20/11/01)

(June 21 2001):

"Greetings. As the co-writer and director of the forthcoming, modern-day, English language remake of "The Story of O", I wish to set the record straight on a few issues.
The film was shot in Los Angeles, where it is set. As the story has been both transplanted and updated, much of the original story has been changed. In addition, my impression of the original film is that it is both hopelessly dated, and incredibly silly. I wanted to make a film that would be faithful to the psychological underpinnings of the original story.
Allowing someone to post their reaction to an unfinished cut of the film (with no ending, no music, etc.) was fairly irresponsible. Though the film will garner a wide variety of reactions, and though I have some doubts as to inclusions and omissions made without my consent, I will state for the record that this film is too unusual, too disturbing, to be simply dismissed as "bad". I can honestly say that I have never seen a film like this.
There are certain frustrations in making a film for a global audience (hence the sorry state of storytelling in modern cinema). However, the film does have the "fever dream" quality I intended, and it has it in spades.
Although the release of the project has been oft-delayed, this has been due to legalities, and not in any way related to the commerical viability of the work. Quite to the contrary, one of the reasons that the producers have been willing to wait for the various delays to work themselves out is that they are more confident than ever that the film will perform quite well around the world.
Here in the United States, the film is being given a major theatrical launch, this fall, through Phaedra Releasing. Until such time as the film has its official premiere, I feel it best to reserve any further comment. If you would like to learn more about me, or my other feature film, The Party Crashers- please feel free to visit my website, - "
Phil Leirness

More Emails:

( May 2001) 'I have seen a rough copy of the 2001 film with Daniela Ciardi without the ending. I'm sorry to say that it's not that good. The screenplay has the Roissy and Samois parts more or less omitted and plays like something produced for Playboy TV. With that in mind, I have to say that the finished product has yet to be seen. And ms Ciardi is certainly a very fetching woman.' - from 'MM'

(2001) "producer, Pierre-Richard Muller; director, Philip Leirness; cast, Danielle Ciardi, Neil Dickson, Max Parrish."

(Nov 2000) This received from 'Carl' (many thanks)
"We are still in the process of finishing the movie which will be ready at the end of the year. Please contact us in January and we will be able to provide you with more information. Best regards - Keith Selin" (Cinema Arts Entertainment)

(2000): "Hello Stefan, I don't know whether this will be news to you or not, but the new adaption is set to be directed by Camilo Villa and to star Danielle Ciardi, Neil Dickson, and Max Parrish. It was slated to be released last month, but I suspect it isn't being widely distributed..."

(Oct 2000) "The New US remake--which modernises and moves the story to LA (Lord help us) does exist, but has yet to be released, it was supposed to be out in August."


2001 archive: WHAT'S NEW ?


March 2001: Sir Stephen Obit:

Movie Story of O (1974) actor Anthony Steele dies at 80:

Anthony Steel, actor, born May 20, 1920 died on March 21, 2001.

Film idol who could not cope with the pressures of Hollywood and fell sadly from grace. "With his square jaw,
dimpled chin and fine head of thick wavy hair, Anthony Steel was the quintessential British male screen idol of the
1950s. For the first five years of the decade his popularity was immense and he was one of the highest paid
of British film actors..."

Story of O (1974) The Just Jeakin movie finally made it onto British television screens at midnight on Sunday 18th March 2001. It was shown for the first time and in the original length French language version with English subtitles on Channel 4.
"Refused a certificate when it was submitted in 1975, the British Board of Film Classification gave the film an18-certificate in February. It commented: "The film is very much a work of its time. Much of the action is conveyed by the facial expressions of the characters." Announcing the screening, a spokesman said: "Is this a dangerous piece of film-making? I really don't think so. If anyone was going to be morally outraged I would be very surprised."

AT LAST!!! Story of O(1974)

At last in the UK
STORY OF O on video & DVD
After a twenty five year ban Story of O the 1974 movie was finally made available to a section of the UK viewing public when late in 1999 a distributor gained a Camden Council certificate allowing the film to be shown in a cinema in London's West End. This exercise was repeated when Story of O was shown for several weeks in London's Piccadilly.

Now as a result of a slight relaxation in film censorship in the UK during the summer of 2000, the 1974 Just Jeakin film version of Story of O has been passed with an 18 (adults only) certificate.

Story of 'O' (1974)
First time on Video & DVD in the UK
Buy it now: click here > Story of O

Selling Fast:
Check out the new Story of O photo book by Doris Kloster
Go to Shop Page....


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