Sunday, April 27, 2008

Some Scripts She's Written

So, we've now covered every film she's directed - she was filming her own adaptation of Blue Beard (Barbe bleue), but production was sadly stopped when she had a stroke - but there are plenty of other films she's written or co-written over the years. So let's jump right into some of those, shall we?

Money (La Thune) is a comedy she co-wrote with its director, Philippe Galland, in 1991. Allmovies.com (a surprisingly good source of write-ups for foreign films with virtually no US release) offers this description, "Kamel is the son of French-born Algerians, and he has learned fairly quickly that working for others, at least for him, is no way to ensure that he won't remain poor. However, he is a bright, enterprising lad, full of confidence and energy, and he soon gets a profitable but unconventional business going. He also has a relationship with a non-Muslim girl, whose middle-class parents are simultaneously appalled by the relationship and charmed by the man himself, so much so that they permit him to sleep in her bed at their home." There is no DVD of this film, in English or any other language... it's only home video appearance to date has been an untranslated, French PAL VHS.

La Pelle (The Skin, or La Peau in France) is an Italian war film based on the memoirs of Curzio Malaparte - here played by none other than Marcello Mastroianni, and features Burt Lancaster in a small role. Breillat wrote the screenplay with two other writers: Robert Katz and the film's director, Liliana Cavani in 1981. La Pelle IS available on DVD - in fact, there are actually two different (but similar) fullscreen R2 Italian DVD, however neither include English subtitles. Interestingly, though, the soundtrack is available in the United States on a recently issued (2006) CD. Update 11/7/2011 - This has received a new French release, and even a Blu-Ray edition, but there are only French and Italian language options.

Finally (for this post... there are many others which will be covered in future posts), we come to the 1989 film, Zanzibar, which she co-wrote with Robert Boner and director Christine Pascal. Allmovies.com writes it up as an "'inside look' at French filmmaking, Marechal (Francis Girod) - who is a has-been director - a producer, Vito Catene (Andre Marcon) and Camile Dor (Fabienne Babe), a big-name actress, have agreed to make a film about drugs, but don't have a story, financing, or any of the other elements needed to make it. This doesn't stop them; they cobble together the financing and begin shooting anyway. The producer is very fond of the leading actress, and when she gets hooked on drugs for real in the course of shooting what he feels to be a farcical imitation of a film, he gives up his shares in the film and heads off for the back of beyond (Zanzibar) to lick his wounds. To add insult to injury, the film winds up being a critical and commercial success." As with a lot of Breillat's films, it's only ever been released as an untranslated, French PAL VHS.

1 comment:

skunkdog said...

This is such a great blog!

If anybody can direct me to a site with good information on Catherine Breillat's current condition, I would be grateful! I've been searching everywhere imaginable on the internet, but so far only one sentence mentions in reviews of 'The Last Mistress'. Thanks!

Alex
alexiosw AT gmail.com