Monday, July 27, 2009

in which I dwell on French ladies.

Indoors on my own and off work, I watched a lot of French horror last Friday. Well, three films to be precise, and I now have renewed respect for the French and their bravery in making truly messed up, intense movies.

I am still mulling over Martyrs. I know I enjoyed it but I can't quite form coherent sentences as to why. It's had a funny impact on me really. I would love to study it on a film course (horror/French horror/women in horror/religion in horror - SO much fodder).

This film in particular is completely fucked up, in ways I can't really go into without major spoilers. It's cold and incredibly harsh, unflinchingly showing pain and suffering. Just when you wonder where it can go next, it takes things to degrees you hadn't even considered. I like to be challenged and this certainly did that. Really great stuff.

I also finally watched À l'intérieur which was less thought provoking but no less enjoyable for it. To complete the hat-trick was Haute Tension. All three have mainly women in the cast. Really strong, resilient hero-worship types.

Look, I'll be honest with you and confess something: I've always been a tiny bit sexist against my own gender in movies. I don't know why and I'm not proud of it, but there you go. However, these French flicks are giving me females to be really impressed by.


  1. I really can't get into Martyrs, as much love as I have for the French scene right now. I do like a film that divides opinions though, it usually means the director is doing something right.

    On an issue related to the film course thing, I've been planning to write my dissertation on New French Extremism and the evolution of Final Girl theory. There's a lot of new stuff to be said these days *nods*

    ALSO. I am genuinely in love with Béatrice Dalle [/heart].

  2. Has she been in anything else I would know? Sorry, I could Google but I am lazy and sneaking online at werk!

    That dissertation sounds great, you'll have to send me a copy :D

  3. You may want to check out Frontière(s) to complete the Franco-horror wave set. It too ultimately focuses on the female lead, features extreme violence, and throws in some cultural/political subtext.

  4. Cool stuff. You're the second person to suggest I watch it, so it's definitely on my list.

  5. Dalle pops up a lot if you have an interest in French cinema, I think her first film was Betty Blue. She should do more horror in my humble opinion; I enjoy her cannibal freak-on in Trouble Every Day.

    As for the dissertation, it'll be a while before it gets written but I'll drop ya a draft sometime! I'm writing an article on 'the female gaze' in Haute Tension and Martyrs you might be interested in too when it's done *nods*

    Laterz alligator!