Netflix viewers have been taking in “365 Days”, an erotic drama from Poland that has catapulted to the top spot of all the streaming service’s TV offerings in the U.S.
The film, which has been described as a Polish version of “50 Shades of Grey”, tells the story of a mafioso who kidnaps a woman, telling her she has 365 days to fall in love with him.
Star actor Michele Morrone opposed rumours that the sex scenes in the film were authentic.
"You and Anna, you know … I mean, the sex part was real?"
"Does, honestly. So you and Anna, this chemistry, is it real? My God, it looks real"
— mrs torricelli 🌈 (@mypridedakota_) April 21, 2020
“It seems like real because we are good actors,” Morrone said in an Instagram Live video back in April. “It wasn’t real. I know that many people write me that, ‘Oh my god, it was real!’ But at the same time, it wasn’t real. That’s impossible.”
The film’s cinematographer, Bartek Cierlica, recently spoke with Variety about capturing those steamy scenes on camera for the film, which is based on the erotic novel by Blanka Lipińska.
Asked how he feels about “365 Days” being described as “rich porn,” Cierlica admitted, “I don’t know if to feel offended or flattered” about that term.
“We wanted the camera to be as much invisible as possible, to let them act, so indeed the takes were very, very long,” Cierlica explained. “We created the most intimate atmosphere we could for the actors. We reduced the on-set crew to an absolute minimum. As it was handheld I was following their action, and trying to show their passion in a natural but beautiful way.”
“We wanted this sex to be pretty authentic,” he added. “We wanted the viewer to hear their whispers, heavy breaths and we wanted to show the sweat, passion. Be natural, authentic, but not to cross the border of pornography.”
According to Cierlica, adapting such steamy subject matter for the screen created a fine line.
“We didn’t want to create porn, but at the same time, we wanted to do justice to the book that is pretty full of very intimate and passionate sex descriptions,” he said. “I knew that as a DP I was walking on very thin ice. It is always a big challenge when you have to bring to life a story that people know and have their idea about.”
“Here the challenge was doubled — how to make it seductive and erotic within the borders of general good taste and my aesthetic,” Cierlica expressed.
He compared “365 Days” to “Beauty and the Beast”, tapping into a fairy tale archetype, but pointed out, “The female hero is far stronger and more emancipated than the girls from old fairy tales.”