Thursday, September 4, 2008

Asia Argento is The Last Mistress

last_mistress
It's very rare these days for me to get the opportunity to see a foreign film of any kind on the big screen due to the area where I live, so it is always a treat when I can take a little road trip to Nashville or Louisville to take take one in. Over the holiday weekend Catherine Breillat's 2007 French feature Une vieille maƮtresse (The Last Mistress) stormed into Nashville's Belcourt Theater and I couldn't let the opportunity pass, so my girlfriend and I braved the heat and gas prices to go see it.
I admire Breillat a lot and typically really enjoy her films and The Last Mistress is one of her finest achievements...a surprisingly restrained (by Breillat standards at least) and incredibly well composed production that cements Asia Argento's position of being easily the most fascinating actress of her generation.
Beautifully photographed by frequent Breillat cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis and co-starring several past stars of the controversial French filmmaker including Roxane Mesquida (wow), Anne Parillaud, Amira Casar and Caroline Ducey, The Last Mistress is simultaneously very much a Catherine Breillat film and yet it seems oddly separate from the rest of her challenging filmography.

I'm going to hold back from a full post on the film until I have the chance to view it again. It's a beautiful work that only faltered slightly for me when Breillat fell back on dialogue instead of her often haunting and unnerving images to tell the story. Already out on DVD in England and Europe, I suspect the US disc will be released later this year.

5 comments:

Steve Langton said...

I'm a keen Breillat fan and will be checking this film out very soon. Look forward to reading your comments when you see this film again. Great to see that Mesquida and Parillaud are together again after seeing them in Sex Is Comedy. Mesquida has done sterling work for Breillat in the past. Can't wait to see this.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Steve,
I know you admire Breillat as well. I've been meaning to comment on your SEX IS COMEDY posting and will soon...thanks for the comments. I think you will really like this one.

The King Of Cool said...

I've been wanting to check out this film myself. I'm a Breillat fan. You know that I'm a big Asia Argento fan. I'll see pretty much anything she's in. I find her incredibly sexy and talented. She's definitely someone unique out there. I've enjoyed watching this trailer the few times I've seen it. I'm glad you got a chance to see this film.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith...this is one of Asia's best roles so I know you will love this film...

James Hansen said...

You probably know I'm doing my MA Thesis on Breillat, so I have quite a lot to say about her work...I haven't managed to fit that into Out 1 yet (partially because of copyright/intellectual property worries) but I have seen this film twice in theaters and enjoyed it even more the second time. It may not be as "noisy" and in your face as the others, but in its own way I think it is just as radical a film. Moreover, the performances and direction are as razor sharp as Breillat has been. Glad to know you enjoyed it, and I look forward to discussing it more soon!