Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Deneuve’

Antichrist: Vu de l’extérieur

January 14, 2010

It says something about the extraordinary Antichrist that the first time Squally saw it, the film felt like a comedy. The second time, it felt like a tragedy. The movie was greeted with jeers at Cannes, which writer/director Lars von Trier brushed off with the proclamation, “I am the world’s greatest filmmaker.”

The critics were trying to take Antichrist too seriously. In dealing with the disintegration of a woman, after all, Von Trier was walking on hallowed ground. The cracked woman is a favorite trope of (male) directors, whether it’s Marnie or Rebecca, Catherine Deneuve in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Monica Vitti in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert, any number of women in Bergman’s films, Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence, Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’s Safe, or especially Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher, by von Trier’s bete noire, Michael Haneke. Squally could go on, but let’s just say that it’s one of the greatest clichés of the art house cinema: a beautiful woman goes to pieces, the beautiful actress who plays her is acclaimed for the performance.

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Trailerama: La Fille du RER (The Girl on the Train)

October 29, 2009

A young Gentile woman claims she was the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on the train. As always, French director Andre Techine looks to motives to explain the violence, which is more emotional than actual. Look for a more subtle consideration of Cache‘s themes.

Trailerama Classic: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

August 3, 2009

Whatever flaws there might be in Jacques Demy’s 1968 follow-up to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, they’re obscured by Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac looking as chic as fuck. (Even when blowing the trumpet.) Gene Kelly hoofs and Michel Legrand puts some brass on it. Due for re-release in the UK on August 14.