Friday, May 25, 2012

Breillat's Feminism

The Last Mistress (2007) - Breillat
I really dig Catherine Breillat's brand of feminism now. I don't know how much is actually adapted from its source novel by Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, but The Last Mistress is quite opposite from other nineteenth century novels about suffering women in the rigid society. The film is a period piece about a married woman (Asia Argento) being seduced by a handsome young aristocat (Fu'ad Aït Aattou). Then she leaves her old husband, goes through a tumultuous relationship and ends up owning him like a slave.

Argento, at age 32 when the film was made, is a radiant beauty and magnetic force, opposite of Aattou's girly man. She struts around in various ethnic costumes, smoking, whipping, knifing, etc. Her husky voice and evil laughs have more seductive power than ever. The ending was kinda draggy and unfocused. But it's definitely a must for Argento fans.

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