Compared with Le Médecin Malgré Lui, Moliere’s late masterpiece Le Malade Imaginaire is not done quite so often outside Europe and North America, or at least not done in a way that would be of interest to us. But happily, in the last ten years there have been two Latin American productions. both of them in Brazil, with versions of the Louison scene that are well worth looking at.
The earlier dates from 2009. There are two nice, original touches to this one: the way she tries to protect her bottom with the teddy bear, and the way the actors simulate slow motion when the spanking actually starts, which means you eliminate the risk of hurting the actress whilst getting a longer scene and a better look at Louison’s simulated reactions – or would do, if only it had been shot from closer up!
The other production is from one year later, 2010, and is an oddity because of the way the spanking is posed. Argan has to stretch over to reach Louison, and then she has to get up in order to ‘die’! And how does a pillow make an even more awesome spanking implement than the flat of Argan’s own hand? But on the plus side, there’s some very nice kicking legs as she is spanked.
Applause, please, for the gallant young Brazilian actresses playing Louison!