Sunday, August 7, 2011


Catherine Breillat's Fat Girl is one of my favorite films by possibly the best director working today. There is a such a precision to Breillat's filmmaking, everything is taken into account, the layers there are mesmerizing. The film, a polemical and overwrought cogitation on the complexities of patriarchal socialization, holds back no punches. I could go into 3rd and 4th wave (was just informed this was a thing (is the ultra-post modernist feminism found solely on the internet)) feminist examinations, but I feel that wouldn't do the film justice. Being that, I feel a formalist critique of her films is always needed because her craft-her cinematography, mise en cine-strengthens what she is saying. 

The shot below is towards the end of the film. Traveling from a bourgeois complacency on their vacation back to the bourgeois compancency of their normal lives, they go from the gray desolate vacation to night. Yet, during this scene, on the verge of their deaths, there is a vibrancy not seen anywhere else in the film. Is great that she lit this large landscape at night. Uniquely beaming light in the middle of the plane. It adds a futurist feel in a shot minutes before an abrupt violent shift.

This shot speaks for itself, as beautiful as any painting.

The muted color scheme through out the film adds to the alienation. Through out muted colors can be found on the characters, sometime them wearing the same colors. Also, the father in the film and the boyfriend of Anais' sister look exactly the same. There is a suggestion then that everyone is connected.
This shot below is after the vacation, the upper class family is sitting at a table at a rest stop. This is after a blow up around the sexual endeavors of the sister on the right. The mother over-reacts, suggests extreme measures, but then calls the French pigs for leaving a mess. This being transposed amongst the nature in the background.
This shot suggests further a descent, psycho-analytic perhaps, into nature. "Animal" or ellusions to people being animals being a common word used through out the film. 

The film is out on criterion now or could be found at Netflix, Facets, etc., see it! I only made some connections, via a couple shots, to a film that has so many layers and is such a tour-de-force of cinematics that this is just a catalyst to what should be a continued discussion. Watch the thing and add to the analysis.


  1. Have nothing to add to the analysis (sorry, did not see the film), but I like the concept for this post, these are the kinds of things I like to notice all the time but sadly haven't seen enough of. Perhaps I will do one soon. How did you get these screenshots?

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  3. Karl StarkweatherAugust 8, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Commenting on your initial feelings to a film, if theoretically proper, always add to your understanding of the film. Please add some of your own in the future.

    Download a program called VLC, you can do screencaps very easily with it.

  4. Karl StarkweatherAugust 8, 2011 at 3:01 AM

    I also write this so people will go out and see the film. I highly suggest it and all of Breillat's other work.