The Power of Sex: the films of Catherine Breillat
presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque
12 to 26 October 2016
Known for her explicit and confronting portrayals of women’s sexuality, provocateur, writer and filmmaker Catherine Breillat focuses wholly on female psychology. Her cinéma du corps lingers clinically on sex in real-time action complete in its messy, painful realism, and portrayed without romanticism or overly expressive emotion. This season showcases Breillat’s key works including her first film, A Real Young Girl, her international breakthrough, Romance, and the divisive Anatomy of Hell, the last two of which both initially faced bans in Australia upon their release.
7:00PM – A REAL YOUNG GIRL (1976), 89 mins, Unclassified 18+
Warning - This film contains scenes of graphic chicken slaughter, viewer discretion is advised.
Breillat’s debut film, adapted from her fourth novel Le Soupirail, is a powerful depiction of female sexual fantasies and experiences.
8:40PM – À MA SOEUR! (2001), 86 mins, R18+
Sibling rivalry comes to the fore when two very different sisters on a seaside holiday debate love, sex and losing their virginity.
7:00PM – ROMANCE (1999), 84 mins, R18+
A schoolteacher (Caroline Ducey) has several affairs, trying to spark intimacy with her uninterested partner (Sagamore Stévenin), a self-absorbed, male model.
8:35PM – BLUEBEARD (2009), 80 mins, Unclassified 15+
The ogreish Bluebeard (Dominique Thomas) and his elfin wife, Marie Catherine (Lola Créton), circle each other in their castle in a claustrophobically erotic display of desire and self-control.
7:00PM – THE LAST MISTRESS (2007), 104 mins, R18+
Breillat creates a brutally sensual period film, distinctively eviscerating romantic illusions with a decadent vision of aristocratic sexual excess.
8:55PM – ANATOMY OF HELL (2004), 77 mins, R18+
A suicidal woman (Amira Casar) hires her rescuer (played by generously endowed porn star Rocco Siffredi) to spend four nights watching her, facing the hell of the female body.
35mm prints courtesy of Pyramide Films, Potential Films, and National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.
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