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Good vibrations

A new film about the invention of vibrators is causing a buzz of excitement among film lovers.

Hysteria stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and tells the story of how two doctors, played by Jonathan Pryce and Hugh Dancy, and a scientist, played by Rupert Everett, experiment with a new electrical device to cure women suffering from ‘hysteria’.

‘It's set in 1880 and it's based on fact,’ said Pryce. ‘There are humorous elements, for sure, but ultimately it's a film about female emancipation and liberation.’

‘When I heard about the invention of the vibrator I felt that, if I never did another film in my life, I had to do this story,’ said US director Tanya Wexler. ‘This is a love story as well. It could have been a 15-minute comic sketch, but we have made it a much wider story and the vibrator is the thing that brings the lovers together.’

The condition of ‘hysteria’ has a long history. In the 16th century, women suffering from anxiety attacks were recommended to take ‘vigorous horseback exercise’ or to make use of a swing or rocking chair. Victorian doctors even submitted female patients to stimulation which led to ‘hysterical paroxysm’ - in layman terms, an orgasm.

We're toying with the idea of seeing this one.

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