All True Artists Are Hated: The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
35mm Print

Breillat straddles the line between observational slice-of-life dramatics and the tumultuous sexual tug of war that dominates her subsequent body of work.”

Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine

A feminist analogue to Maurice Pialat’s 1985 neo-noir Police, of which Breillat was co-screenwriter, this undressing of the policier and its misogynistic worldview anticipated work by other female auteurs—Claire Denis, Lynne Ramsay, Jane Campion—who would likewise flip the gaze on the film d’homme. Georges (Claude Brasseur) is a cynical, self-destructive cop whose partner Didier (Nils Tavernier) is a debaucherous spitting image of his younger self. When the family of a lifelong friend and stool pigeon (Claude-Jean Philippe) requires protection, Georges tasks Didier with round-the-clock watch, then maneuvers his way into the arms (and elsewhere) of his preoccupied partner’s wife (Lio), newly wed and sexually naïve. Breillat uses the affair to dissolve, or demasculinize, the codes of the genre, exposing the impotence under Georges’s tough-guy hide and delivering her heroine—a prototype of the coolly detached sexual explorer in Romance—from the virgin-whore” binary.

In French with English subtitles

“[One of] her most powerful films … A darker-than-noir policier told from the point of view of a grubby femme fatale.”

Amy Taubin, Village Voice
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