Saturday, December 13, 2008

Breillat On (Other People's) DVD

Ok, we've been looking at all of Breillat's films on DVD, but there is something that 'till now we'd overlooked: Catherine Breillat making appearances on English language DVDs of films that aren't her own.

Notably, she's featured on one of the extras for Criterion's DVD of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Specifically she's one of several interview subjects (all speaking English) in the 23 minute documentary, Fade To Black (pictured above), which is included on the second disc. Everyone's given pretty equal time, so she gets to speak for a few minutes at different points, mostly about the sexuality and controversy of Salò. This extra is only available on the second release of Salò that Criterion put out. Their first, now out of print release does not include Fade To Black, or any of the other extras. It should also be pointed out that the actual print of Salò used for this rerelease, like their first attempt, is cut: missing a scene during the wedding sequence; so serious Pasolini fans will have to stick with the region 2 disc from BFI (pictured, right). But this new set from Criterion is worth at least renting for the extras (especially if you're a Breillat completist, of course!).

Catherine Breillat has also cooperated with Criterion in writing an essay entitled Awakening for the booklet packaged with their DVD of Ingmar Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel. She's not featured on the DVD at all, though; only in the booklet.

Finally, Catherine Breillat is featured in one segment of the IFC's four-part documentary, Indie Sex. Specifically, she's in part 2, Indie Sex: Teens. This film was originally made for the IFC channel on which it aired and features a whole ton of filmmakers and others reminiscing on sex in cinema in a sort of light-hearted Remember the 80's kind of way. It's nothing amazing, but enjoyable as a fun, casual fluff piece. Breillat appears (subtitled) specifically in a section about Fat Girl... including film clips, her own comments, and commentary by three film critics; you get just about 4 minutes worth of material. Breillat fans won't learn anything new, but it's nice to see her work getting spotlighted for people who haven't been introduced to it yet. There are also some extras on the second disc: a short look at stag films, and a decent amount of bonus interview footage; but Catherine Breillat isn't featured in any of that. She's only featured in Teens on disc 1.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Barbe Bleue

It looks like Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard, an adaptation of the famous tale by Charles Perault) wasn't shelved after all; it was completed! Apparently, she filmed it for the Franco-German TV network Arte (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne), a channel focused on the European arts.

It's produced by Sylvette Frydman and Jean-François Lepetit (written and directed by Breillat, of course), and stars Lola Creton as Marie-Catherine, Daphné Baïwir as Anne and Dominique Thomas as Bluebeard himself.

There's virtually no info about this film in English, so here's a Google translation of the press kit's plot description, so at least you can get the gist: "Often fairy tales take as central a kind of serial killer Child: So is there Ogres. But Bluebeard is the emblematic figure. It is also in the 50-55 years storytelling girls preferred models. This is the case of Catherine, she loves to scare his sister Marie-Anne read him stubbornly the story until she cries. At the same time Catherine planned in the story, she became Princess Marie-Catherine, the last woman Bluebeard, which does not reach women who hanged predecessors. Because it is the virgin princess that Ogre can not bring himself to kill. This hesitation would be fatal. Thus the virgin gets the head of Giant."

Unfortunately, since it's made for television, we may be waiting a very long time for an English translation; but at least we know it exists so there's a chance.