Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fat Girl

What a brilliant film! I just saw it again for the second time. In a way perfect film for valentine's day! Just over eighty minutes, this film has enough vitriol to dissolve year long supply of sentimental mush about sexuality and gender relations. It succeeds because all the rhetorical flourishes are not empty and shallow misanthropic posturing but is built up organically from the roots of the characters, who are also very identifiable types. In this sense it is very different from Breillat's earlier film Romance, which is a complete failure. It is of course extremely cynical and the last scene, with its perverse interpretations of the act of rape may drive even full time feminists crazy. But then they will be missing the main strand of her argument. Her main targets are the the "soar bar theory" and "corked bottle theory" of female sexuality (not my phrases; Anais, the titular fat girl, in a scene says "she is not a soap bar" to her imaginary lovers who are jealous because of her imaginary promiscuities), and it is these ridiculous ideas about sexuality that forces people to invent sentimental lies about themselves and other people. In the process the sexual act and sexuality becomes alienating, rather than a genuine and authentic self-expressionm as it should be. Very highly recommeded! Jim Hoberman has a nice review of the film. (he discusses the whale movie too, just scroll down) Two interviews from Guardian and Village Voice and a profile from Senses of Cinema.

2 comments:

Antonia said...

I always have a soft spot for such films, have seen myself a similar one recently but forgot its name...my brain is rubbish with films...

Alok said...

It is a very nice film. very provocative and intelligent!