Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Book On Breillat

If you've got a little extra money to spare (like, oh say, $65), you might be interested in picking up a copy of what Manchester University Press correctly describes to be, "the first English-language book on controversial female director Catherine Breillat."  Titled simply Catherine Breillat, it's written by Douglas Keesey (a professor of film and lit who's also written a similar books on Peter Greenaway, Paul Verhoeven and others) and clocks in at 224 pages.

The official description reads, "This is the first English-language book on controversial female director Catherine Breillat, whose films include Romance, A ma soeur! (Fat Girl), Anatomy of Hell and most recently, The Last Mistress. Thematic groupings - female coming-of-age films, movies about masculinity in crisis, and films dealing with a woman's sexual odyssey - provide the opportunity to study Breillat's treatment of such issues as female virginity, body image, sisterhood, conformity, desire, shame, masochism and self-empowerment, as well as male gender identity, androgyny and macho violence. This volume explores the director's complex relation to religion and to feminism, and it examines the differences between Breillat's films and patriarchal pornography, engaging in detailed analysis of her intimate scenes between men and women. Keesey also discusses the literature, films, paintings and photos that have influenced Breillat's work, and extends this to show how Breillat's films have influenced other filmmakers and artists in turn. A lively and accessible introduction, this book will appeal to students and researchers, as well as all those with an interest in gender studies, French film and contemporary cinema."

It seems a bit academic, but also pretty thorough.  If you're interested, it's available from Amazon (among other places, of course), here.