(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)
A new provocation from the director of "Romance"
Elena is 15, beautiful and flirtatious. Her less confident sister, Anais, is 12, and constantly eats. On holiday, Elena meets a young Italian student who is determined to seduce her. Anais is forced to watch in silence, conspiring with the lovers, but harboring jealousy and similar desires. Their actions, however, have unforeseen tragic consequences for the whole family.
I don't want to mislead anyone who hasn't seen this film as to what it's like. It is a caustic and brutal film that assaults preconceptions of love and seduction in the most Brechtian and painful of ways. It's not a horror film by the strict definitions of genre, but at the very least, it is related to horror. Its grandmother was horror. It's one quarter horror.
But I don't really want to talk about the horror of the film. Or its commentary on the patriarchy. I'd like to talk about Fat Girl's conception of family, something skimmed over in the film sometimes despite the original French title being A Ma Soeur (To My Sister).
The popular Western conception of…
God dam god damn god damn. Here follows an arbitrary review of both Fat Girl and "Flawless," because both are on my mind:
My only complaints* are that this song still contextualizes female power through appearance and uses the term "bitches," which is problematic. Except, of course, Beyonce knows what the fuck she's doing. She's made an anthem. She knows what the best pop songwriters know (no idea if she wrote it; doesn't matter): you make the song about anyone, even when it isn't. So when she sings about being flawless, she's putting words into the mouths of her listeners. The chorus is what they're gonna sing along with most; the verses, with their specific references, allow them to be…
A brutal exploration of sexuality in a patriarchal society.
Sorry, but the ending is perfect.
Feminist filmmaking at its finest.
I was underwhelmed by the fact that the term provocative, which you’ll find often when scrolling through reviews and synopsises of this picture, its applicability stopped at the movie’s title. That’s what I was thinking right up until the final five minutes. Then, holy shit. I won’t spoil things for those who haven’t seen this, but holy shit. For the larger part it’s a very French tale of a teenage girl (played by a beautiful Roxane Mesquida) her sexual awakening over the course of a vacation holiday. I watched it mainly for that reason; I don’t know what it is with me, but films that give attention to sex always seem to interest me. It tickles my fancy I guess.…
I'm a little bit in love with this film, but I'll have to consider the ending some more before a second viewing (hopefully on big screen) can probably maybe vaunt it into Personal Canon status. I will offer some grain-of-salt interpretation, because I'm not sure, but: Breillat is, I think, creating a confusion of thematic coherence on purpose, pulling a very Bunuelian maneuver (the rapist reminds me greatly of the guy from Belle de Jour) to offer, to the viewer (rather than the character, which is what Bunuel does), a choice, as put eloquently in the film's last lines: "don't believe me if you don't want to". This reminded me of the closing line of Alice Munro's "How I…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Well this is an interesting one. That ending really flips everything on it's head, so much so that I've been thinking and reading a lot about this for a while before even writing a word here. I've heard a lot about director Catherine Breillat before this, that she's provocative and unflinching with her films, and that's definitely proved true with Fat Girl.
Ostensibly the film is about the sexual awakening of two young teenage sisters away on vacation. Elena is slightly older and the more physically attractive of the two, while her sister Anais (the titular "fat girl") is the complete opposite, overweight and insecure. At times they're at each others throats and at others they're sharing a bond only…
To call this film "unforgettable" would be an understatement
"Provocative trash," is what this film wants to be called, and what it almost deserves as an immediate reaction. Abusive, manipulative, and cinematic 'rape' are other terms that are appropriately attributable, and I do not throw the term "rape" out lightly, because it should never be used loosely. However, It is safe to say that Catherine Breillat is exploring a few different forms and instances of being taken advantage of and other opaque definitions of "rape." This obviously does not make for any kind of enjoyable experience on the part of the viewer, and it certainly does not provoke eagerness to explore its content any further than a single viewing. And honestly, it shouldn't be that kind of film.
As the picture opens, two teenaged sisters are discussing their virginity. The eldest, Elena, is already experienced sexually - although she's saving penetration for someone she truly loves. The youngest - the titular character - is unmoved by her sister's logic. She wants to give her virginity to someone she knows she doesn't love, so she can separate it from the emotional attachment that is usually cooked in to your first time.
It's a simple, straightfoward premise for a film - one that director Catherine Breillat will come to corrupt in most unexpected ways. Her depiction of the push-and-pull relationship between sisters feels genuine, in that it speaks as much to jealousy as it does to empathy.
While the film's…
Bitchy and sad.
It's difficult not to laud Breillat's commitment to utter unpleasantness and the banality of how horrible events can be treated, so I will. I don't really have anything interesting to say about Fat Girl, as I think it's been rather correctly treated and interpreted.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The ending of this one always bothered me and I could never quite pinpoint why. I understand now: I didn't think there was enough dramatic justification for the choice to end the movie that way, most of all considering the questions and points Breillat carefully raises up to that moment. It seemed, to me, too unforgiving to finish a film that understood these girls and where they were coming from so well in such a somber note. I suppose I was much too young when I first saw it and needed it to end differently. Some sort of escapist exercise, I guess. No such luck.
I still feel this way, in a sense. But I came to terms with this…
ok i watched 40 mins of this and it was very disturbing so read the plot summary instead and i am very very glad i didn't watch the rest. the high ratings for this film trouble me deeply. maybe i'm too "un-cultured" to understand the "deeper meaning" of it, but the constant violence against women in this film (THREE rapes) certainly doesn't scream feminist to me, unlike what i've seen several reviews claim
Really the only interesting thing here is how the original goes from the thematically interesting To My Sister to the blunt and stupid Fat Girl. Like pretty much every other Breillat film I've seen this isn't particularly interesting with very rote characterization tied to dull cliches on female sexuality. The sibling rivalry could be interesting, but the characters are so flat that the literal story offers nothing on it and the psychology so primitive that any allegory or symbolism or anything else of that nature is stunted into being another part of this dull mesh. It doesn't help that Celine Sciamma's pseudo-remake Water Lilies handles this sibling rivalry a million times better (though that film is by a long distance…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
movies directed by women,
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