Director: Catherine Breillat
Year Released: 1999
Frankly, I could hardly care as to whether or not one would classify this as 'feminist' or not, or exactly how one could go about describing what this movie is about, since I'm not sure what director Catherine Breillat is saying, and perhaps that is because I have a penis and try to live in reality. You know, had a man made this movie it would not be so well received (it would be assaulted for being fetishistic/masochistic), but since it was a woman, of course you have to alter your stance when you watch it and review it (re: the much more successful American Psycho). There are scenes of graphic sexuality, sadomasochism and the like (the tape I rented from Blockbuster has these obviously eliminated by panning & scanning - isn't that called censorship, you shits?) that prove little (except that the lead is one brave actress) and exist mainly as an unnecessary distraction to keep your attention off the fact that there is no substance, like character development or real people - the lead female seems to have dropped out of an existentialist play, spouting schizo-trash about how she 'just wants to be an object' and 'raped' and how she can't look at anyone she's screwing. You can't take that sort of subject matter seriously if you're under the impression that she is supposedly 'crazy,' 'self-loathing,' 'psychotic,' etc. ... all of which Breillat alludes to. I was under the impression throughout all of this that there was a role-swaping game running through the deep recesses of the film, with the lead's 'boyfriend' refusing to have sex with her the same way girlfriends traditionally' spurn their boyfriends (this might explain the aforementioned 'I-want-to-be-an-object' interior monologues - the lead is behaving the way she thinks men want her to behave), but I couldn't find enough evidence to support this. Widely acclaimed as being thought-provoking - which it is - but mostly on the grounds that you don't know where it stands on much of anything. The ending, in particular, is unabashedly pathetic (it reminded me of The Marriage of Maria Braun).