Monday, March 22, 2010
Breillat's BLUEBEARD: the expected -- and then some
Catherine Breillat (shown below) would take her stab at adapting Bluebeard to the screen. This strange and ugly but insistently encroach-
ing story is one of several even more famous faux-folk-tale/fairy tales by 17th Century Frenchman Charles Perrault, whose oeuvre includes Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Poots and Donkeyskin (which another French filmmaker, Jacques Demy, turned into a fetching little film a few decades back).
Fat Girl aka À ma soeur) and the power struggle between men and women.
BLUEBEARD is a nice film to look at, too, and although all the per-
formers are new to me, each does a fine job. In the title role, Dominique Thomas even looks quite like the character in the 19th cen-
tury illustration (shown at left) by Gustave Doré. Breillat is also able to get her licks in regarding religion (the sisters are at convent school when they hear some bad news, given them with barely concealed disdain and deliberate pain by the nun-in-charge), the economics of survival for women (then and now) and perhaps the most important women's lesson of all (used consistently by everyone from Scheherazade to Lucille Ball):
When in trouble, stall.
Strand Releasing on Friday, March 26, at the IFC Center. Further playdates scheduled so far appear below.
4/30/10: Burton Theatre, Detroit, MI
4/30/10: Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH 44106
6/4/10: Wexner Center for the Art, Columbus, OH
6/16/10: George Eastman House, Rochester, NY