Thursday, September 4, 2008
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 maîtresse (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.