Anatomy of Hell ★★

52 films by women

I nearly had a panic attack watching this (I'm not exaggerating - I hand to god started to hyperventilate). That's not a review but I wanted to memorialise that.

I don't mind uncomfortable films. I don't mind unsubtle films (and this is about as subtle as a sledgehammer). I don't mind films that are shocking for the sake of being so sometimes (which this certainly is). But I at least want to be engaged in some way and I just wasn't - not intellectually anyway. Because the points made are just too obvious that it all becomes cartoonish and difficult to take seriously. I reacted viscerally perhaps because of my physical reaction (after which I was mostly bored and, yes, disgusted which I was meant to be - though maybe for a slightly different reason than intended that I'd rather not discuss on letterboxd as it's too personal).

There's a lot of thoughts to untangle but one thing playing on my mind is it comes off as kinda homophobic to me? Maybe I'm misreading but, while obviously gay men can be sexist/misogynystic, this seems to suggest they are, by default, more sexist than straight men. (And that there is some uncomfortable or traumatic event that has made them gay - at least, it seems to suggest this for The Man when he remembers the baby bird incident, linking it to his repulsion of vulvas/vaginas and that this is why he's gay? I mean, that's really how that all read to me.)

Also, this is my first Breillat film. I knew they were intense but I think I may have been ever so slightly unprepared.