With her characteristically unflinching gaze and courage, Catherine Breillat takes her exploration of sexuality, desire and the relationship between men and women to the limit. A pure, painterly, often surreal study in sex and the body.
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I concur with the commenter below that this film goes beyond any star rating but I'm giving a 5 for the experience. I don't know what to say. Feminist philosophy set against pornographic iconography-though it's not porno. Put it this way: if Bergman shot a sex movie written by Kate Millett & Margurite Duras, it might be something like this but that still doesn't fit. This is a Breillat film & one of her most realized
WTF??! Cold as ice, hot as blood, essayistic, profound, stupid, vulgar and beautiful. Possibly a masterpiece, possibly a piece of shit. Beyond any star rating, but therefore a truly unforgettable experience. Catherine Breillat is a true artist, and without doubt the most relentlessly interesting contemporary french filmmaker.
A well-photographed film, with two leads who give fearless performances and certainly look attractive together. That said, "Anatomy of Hell" delivers exactly what people think of when they imagine a 'pretentious French movie': detached, sullen characters in barely furnished rooms, discussing sex in such a clinical way that love and life itself are robbed of any passion. I can't say I enjoyed the experience.
Well now! This definitely wasn't the porn-masquerading-as-art nonsense that I expected, but definitely no masterpiece. It's an interesting/hilarious cinematic experience (depending on your mood), and the intense two-hander in a single room reminded me somewhat of La Belle Noiseuse. Saying that I don't recall Michel Piccoli using a lipstick to express his art. Or indeed gardening implements.