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June 27, 2008


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"Speaking of Breillat and chicken" is my favorite phrase of 2008 so far, even if it brings to mind Jim Morrison a bit too much.


I was only vaguely familiar with Breillat, and then only from bits I'd gleaned through reading, when I went into my first Breillat film "The Last Mistress". I was impressed by unapologetic depiction of "women in heat" and in the blunt and sometimes equally ugliness and beauty of a few of her scenes, like the one you mention, but as a whole, I found the film tedious to get through. I get the sense that Breillat is a filmmaker whose works need to be approached carefully. I'm willing to jump in...once I recover.


True story: there was a "feminist" I knew in college, the kind of woman who sneers at men for having a penis and generally gives actual feminists headaches.

She engaged me in conversation once and asked me if I knew five female directors (I later found out this was for a homework assignment). I listed a bunch, including Penelope Spheeris.

"Who's that?"

"She directed 'The Decline of Western Civilization'."


"The only thing she's directed that you've heard of is Wayne's World."

"That was directed by a man."

"No, it was directed by Penelope Spheeris."

"Please, what woman would make a movie like THAT? I need a movie directed by a woman about WOMEN."

"OK, try 'Swept Away'. Lina Wertmuller."

Hey, it fit her criteria.


I've only seen Fat Girl. It was quite a romp, all right. I knew what was coming, in a vague sort of way, and I still felt like someone had punched me in the face.


The NY Times today reviewed "Mistress" in what seemed to me to be a kind of hesitant, not quite approving way. I'm anxious to see it both because I've always been stunned by every Breillat film I've seen, and because I would have thought the novel, by Barbey D'Aurevilly, would be about the last novel anybody would try to film. Barbey's preface, by the way, clarifies that he felt he was writing a deeply Catholic novel. I wonder if Breillat will have read it that way . . . Apart from his Catholicism and her postFeminism (which, true, is a pretty big "apart from"), they do have similar sensibilities.

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Oh my God! What is she doing!?


OMG she is plucking a chicken, it looks a little nasty.

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That looks so funny, jajaja...

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Let it never be said that I am the sole member of the Kenny household who gets wound up over certain movie writers/writing.

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