Lili, a pouty and voluptuous 14-year-old, is caravan camping with her family in Biarritz. She’s self-aware and holds her own in a café conversation with a concert pianist she meets, but she has a wild streak and she’s testing her powers over men, finding that she doesn’t always control her moods or actions, and she’s impatient with being a virgin. She sets off with her brother to a disco, latching onto an aging playboy who is himself hot and cold to her. She is ambivalent about losing her virginity that night, willing the next, and determined by the third. The playboy’s mix of depression and misogyny ends their unconsummated affair, so Lili has to hunt elsewhere. –IMDb
Author and filmmaker Catherine Breillat has gained a reputation as one of the most controversial women in contemporary arts and letters for her work, which often focuses on the erotic and emotional lives of young women, as told from the woman’s perspective. Born in Bressuire, France, in 1948, Breillat developed a reputation for challenging public mores early on; at the age of 17, she published her first novel, L’homme facile, which became a cause célèbre for its blunt language and open depiction of sexual subject matter. The controversy generated by L’homme facile gave Breillat enough recognition that she was able to pursue a career as a writer, and between 1968 and 1975, she published three novels and a stage drama, as well as making her acting debut with a small role in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris. In 1975, Breillat moved behind the camera by writing, designing, and directing Une vraie jeune fille, which was adapted from one of Breillat’s… read more
A look back at the posters for departing festival director Richard Peña’s very first NYFF.