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Breillat’s “Bluebeard” is brutal

Breillat’s “Bluebeard” is brutal

Catherine Breillat’s Screen Revision of Perrault’s Fairy Tale

In “Bluebeard,” a sly rethink of the freakily morbid fairy tale, the filmmaker Catherine Breillat makes the case that once upon a time stories never end. Divided into two parallel narratives one focuses on Bluebeard and his dangerously curious wife, while the other involves two little girls in the modern era revisiting the tale the movie is at once direct, complex and peculiar. It isn’t at all surprising that Ms. Breillat, a singular French filmmaker with strong, often unorthodox views on women and men and sex and power, uk canada goose outlet would have been interested in a troubling tale about the perils of canada goose clearance sale disobedient wives. Ms. Breillat never behaves.

That unruliness can be uk canada goose thrilling in films like “A cheap Canada Goose Real Young Girl,” “Perfect Love,” “Romance,” “Fat Girl” and “The Last Mistress,” with their intellectually provoking, intemperate and gutsy cinematic explorations of female desire. Some are shocking, though less because they sometimes include depictions of real buy canada goose jacket cheap and feigned sex. While it’s unusual to see a woman filmmaker (even a French one) outside of pornography let loose with such unvarnished, bold, even cheap canada goose uk grotesque images, what makes you squirm with embarrassment, delight, nervousness, shame, guilt, pleasure or displeasure (seeing is feeling), aren’t the orifices and the tumescence. It’s that she has dared to put the often unarticulated and generally unrepresented on screen, where everyone can see them. She makes the invisible, women included, visible.

Ms. Canada Goose Outlet Breillat’s most audacious move in “Bluebeard,” an unthrilling if still pungent work, comes at the level of form, in the bifurcated way she tells her story. Certainly Ms. Breillat suggests that this is very much her and every other woman’s story, despite (perhaps because of) its provenance. The original was written by Charles Perrault (1628 1703), whose contributions to fairy Canada Goose Coats On Sale tales are so influential he wrote down folk tales, giving them shape Disney should pay his heirs royalties. More than a century before the Brothers Grimm, Perrault staked a claim on the female imagination in particular with “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Sleeping Beauty.” He had a thing for girls and women in trouble, making Ms. Breillat a good match.

“Bluebeard” suits Ms. Breillat, who likes to mix the blunt in with the oblique. The story involves an aristocrat (Dominique Thomas) with a number of mysteriously missing wives who takes a new bride, Marie Catherine (Lola Creton). One day, before leaving on a Canada Goose Parka trip, he hands over his keys, telling her that she can enter all canada goose uk shop the rooms save one. But after he leaves, she unlocks the forbidden chamber the wife Canada Goose sale must defy him for the buy canada goose jacket tale to exist where she discovers the putrid bodies of his other wives hanging like meat. Meanwhile, the two little girls (Marilou Lopes Benites and Lola Giovannetti) keep popping in and out of the movie, one reading the story of “Bluebeard” enthusiastically canada goose coats as the other blanches and recoils in horror.

The little girls are naturals and the dusty attic in which they read and play looks genuine enough to Canada Goose online sneeze at. Not so the actors in the Bluebeard section, who move in period costumes through minimalist sets that have little of the sumptuous detail that tends to characterize more mainstream and costly efforts of this type. There’s a stripped down quality to these trappings, which might be a function of budgetary constraints but also complements Ms. Breillat’s analytic approach, the critical distance she sometimes likes to assume. The sets, the Canada Goose Online clothes, the telegraphed performances actors recite lines that sound like lines along with the intermittent annotations from the little girls, remind you that you’re watching a self conscious fiction, one that canada goose store generations have preserved and recast.

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The movie, which was shot in digital that often looks too flimsy for Ms. Breillat’s big ideas (you might think of Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” with a sigh), canadian goose jacket opens in a convent with Marie Catherine and Canada Goose sale her older sister, Anne (Daphn Bawir), hearing of their father’s death. Anne weeps while canada goose factory sale Marie Catherine rages, and together, newly impoverished, they leave. On their journey home Marie Catherine sees a castle, and vows to live in one, then learns that it belongs to Bluebeard. She ends up in canada goose uk black friday one after all. But before she does, Ms. Breillat, in a needless scene, shows a servant beheading a fowl, the camera lingering on its twitching body. Ah, yes, someone’s goose, having been killed, will surely be cooked but whose?

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The answer to that question proves more thoughtful than that crude image of the bird suggests. Carter, who rewrote classic fairy tales to her own feminist ends, including a version of “Bluebeard” that she titled “The Bloody Chamber,” was interested in how they turn experience into stories, particularly in respect to gender. It seems probable that Ms. Breillat is familiar with Ms. Carter: the little girls in this screen revision, for instance, are dressed in gingham, which is what the heroine of “The Bloody Chamber” wears before she marries the wealthy man she doesn’t love.

All fairy tales have morals and the canada goose black friday sale one in Ms. Breillat’s “Bluebeard” is brutal, suitably bloody and, like all good retellings, both similar to and different from earlier iterations. canada goose Like Ms. Carter, Ms. Breillat does not let women off easy: they are rarely if ever simply (or simple) victims. And to see Marie Catherine as purely Bluebeard’s victim is to forget that she has a part in how the story not only ends, Canada Goose Jackets but also how it develops, for good and for bad. For her part, Ms. Breillat narrates the fairy tale three ways: in the period story, through the little girls and, finally, through the overall film.

Written and directed by Catherine Breillat, based on the tale by Charles Perrault; director of photography, Vilko Filac; edited by Pascale Chavance; sets canada goose clearance by Olivier Jacquet; costumes by Rose Marie Melka; produced by Jean Franois Lepetit and Sylvette Frydman; released by Strand Releasing. At the IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, at Third Street, Greenwich Village. In French, with English subtitles. Running time: canada goose uk outlet 1 hour 20 minutes. This film is not rated.