Such was the question that I was determined to finally answer when I got the recent Blu-ray disc release of Bertolucci's still-argument-provoking 1972 film, in which the future director of A ma soeur! and Barbe Bleue, to name but two of my favorites of hers, is credited as appearing in the role of "Mouchette," while sister Marie-Hélene plays "Muriel." And I believe I found the two, in the scene in which Maria Schneider's Jeanne is trying on her wedding dress and discussing the relation of love to "pop marriage" and advertising with her schmuck cinephile/cineaste fiancé Tom (poor Jean-Pierre Léaud) and very nearly giving away her secret affair with the aging American Paul (Marlon Brando). To be honest, I can't be quite sure here which one is Catherine and which is Marie-Hélene; while the characters are named in the credits, they're not referred to by those names in the film proper (unless I missed something). Marie Hélene is only all of thirteen months older than Catherine, so it's hard to tell the difference. (It's kind of funny to consider their scant age difference and incredibly strong resemblance in contrast to the admittedly autobiographical or quasi-autobiographical portrayals of the sisters in the Breillat films I cite above, and the marked dissimilarities between the two girls in each of those films; just another study for the "perception IS reality" book, I guess.) Anyway, the two act very sweet and hippy dippy as they attend to Jeanne like ladies in waiting; it's a moment of comic and lyrical respite before everything starts coming crashing down and the film reaches its peculiar conclusion, which itself prompts a number of questions: is Jeanne in fact in "the wrong?" Will Paul be happier without the chewing gum? And so on.
Still such a weird, multi-layered film, really a mess in certain ways, because it tries to do so much; it's a study of the iconography of Hollywood stardom and what happens when you metaphorically destroy the system upon which it's built (and if you think that's over-reading the film, you need to pay closer attention to the description of Paul the cleaning woman tells Paul she gave to the authorities), a study of the soul-rot that can be an inherent feature of a certain species of cinephilia (something Bertolucci never quite got out of his system, and a topic to which I can imagine the sometime anti-cinephile Richard Brody warming to), AND an attempt to apply a new frankness to sexuality than had prior been attempted in conventional narrative film. It is this last feature that Breillat most obviously picked up at least part of her own artistic cue from, and from film to film you can see her succeeding where Bertolucci failed, and failing in ways he never even dreamed of. And that's even before we start getting into the attendant gender and sexual politics of the whole deal.
I have to say since I'm here that I'm not crazy about the MGM/UA Blu-ray—it strikes me as a bit on the noisy side—and still have very fond memories of Criterion's laser disc, which I recollect as having been mastered from superior materials. Not that there's much of anything I can do about that.