Breillat’s most commercial and romantic film, but nevertheless a searing exploration of love and hate, love and death. An older, attractive bourgeois woman falls for a younger man with fatal consequences.
Dunkerque, a sober and mysterious port, lends itself to a romantic stroll. Love blossoms between Frédérique and Christophe. He is 28, she is 37. She is a rather classic and bourgeois woman. At first she is surprised about their love, but in the end she believes in it. But then life gets the upper hand again. The truths emerge onto the table and suddenly the man turns out to be different: selfish, tormented and a little adrift. In other words: a young man. He says he can’t cope any more with his life ‘being laid down’ at an age when he should ’ enjoy’ himself. She suffers. Nevertheless, they continue their relationship, passionately and degenerate. Until one night he kills her. The first pictures are already pointing at a murder. The film is however not about a murder, but about a love that ends with a murder. The news report on which the film is based was an excuse for Catherine Breillat to give her view of ‘a couple’: a relationship of two people condemned to each other, a universe in which passion has to end in murder. The fusion of man and woman is impossible, such a love can only end in confrontations and cruelty. Catherine Breillat: ‘This press release has fascinated lots of people. Why? Because it’s about ourselves. And if love degenerates, the relationship acquires a sado-masochistic aspect. That can happen to anyone.’ –IFFR
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