Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

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Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:49 am

Corrie Class Trip is a project where we rotate the selection of a title for group watches on an appointed day/date to then discuss [previous iterations linked below]. We welcome all to participate and share their thoughts and feelings! The fourth viewing for Round 4 is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th. Please post about the film itself and your experience with it in this thread, and any off-topic posts about the series itself in the Class Trip Discussion Thread.

Thanks and enjoy!!!

xoxo,
your classmates

:heart: :heart: :heart:
Saturday, June, 22nd 2019
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Fat Girl aka À ma sœur! (Catherine Breillat, 2001)
À ma sœur! is a provocative and shocking drama about sibling rivalry, family discord and relationships. Elena (Roxane Mesquida) is 15, beautiful and flirtatious. Her less confident sister, Anaïs (Anaïs Reboux), is 12, and constantly eats. On holiday, Elena meets a young Italian student (Libero De Rienzo) who is determined to seduce her. Anaïs is forced to watch in silence, conspiring with the lovers, but harbouring jealousy and similar desires. Their actions, however, have unforeseen tragic consequences for the whole family.

Past Trips, Senior Year:

#1 - Ex Drummer (2007, Koen Mortier, Belgium) | Slentert
#2 - The Territory (1981, Raul Ruiz, Portugal) | Rock
#3 - Wake In Fright (1971, Ted Kotcheff, Australia) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Night Must Fall (1964, Karel Reisz, UK) | Captain Terror

Past Trips, Junior Year:

#1 - La maternelle (1933, Jean Benoît-Lévy & Marie Epstein, France) | wigwam
#2 - Time and Winds (2006, Reha Erdem, Turkey) | Oxnard Montalvo
#3 - Clean, Shaven (1993, Lodge Kerrigan, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Diabeł (1972, Andrzej Żuławski, Poland) | Oxnard Montalvo
#5 - Black Friday (2004, Anurag Kashyap, India) | Rock
#6 - Schizopolis (1996, Steven Soderbergh, USA) | Slentert
#7 - Hearts and Minds (1974, Peter Davis, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#8 - Xtro (1982, Harry Bromley Davenport, UK) | crumbsroom
#9 - The House (1997, Šarūnas Bartas, France) | Oxnard Montalvo
#10 - Spider-Baby (1967, Jack Hill, USA) | Slentert
#11 - Oh Lucy! (2017, Atsuko Hirayanagi, Japan/USA) | Shieldmaiden
#12 - The Heartbreak Kid (1972, Elaine May, USA) | Jinnistan

Past Trips, Sophomore Year:

#1 - The Worthless (1982, Mika Kaurismäki, Finland) | snapper
#2 - Shopping for Fangs (1997, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin, USA) | takeshi
#3 - The Heart of the Wise Lives in the House of Sorrow (2009, Marin Malešević, Serbia) | Shieldmaiden
#4 - The Forbidden Quest (1993, Peter Delpeut, Netherlands) | kopello
#5 - São Bernardo (1972, Leon Hirszman, Brazil) | Bandy Greensacks
#6 - Evdokia (1971, Alexis Damianos, Greece) | Epistemophobia
#7 - The Ball at the Anjō House (1947, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, Japan) | snapper
#8 - Sérail (1976, Eduardo de Gregorio, France) | takeshi
#9 - Passport for a Corpse (1962, Mario Gariazzo, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#10 - Aksuat (1997, Serik Aprimov, Kazakhstan) | Shieldmaiden
#11 - Dangerously Excited (2011, Koo, South Korea) | wigwam
#12 - Himala (1982, Ishmael Bernal, Philippines) | snapper

Past Trips, Freshman Year:

#1 - Distant Journey (1949, Alfréd Radok, Czechoslovakia) | snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Susumu Hani, Japan) | Das
#3 - The Policewoman (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal) | charulata
#4 - Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (1989, Vitali Kanevsky, USSR) | Bandy Greensacks
#5 - The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974, Francesco Barilli, Italy) | Trip
#6 - Weddings and Babies (1958, Morris Engel, USA) | snapper
#7 - The Man with Three Coffins (1987, Lee Jang-ho, South Korea) | Notes from Underground
#8 - Malina (1991, Werner Schroeter, Germany) | Shieldmaiden
#9 - Bad Luck (1960, Andrzej Munk, Poland) | B-Side
#10 - The Girl with the Suitcase (1961, Valerio Zurlini, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (1972, Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece) | BandyGreensacks
#12 - Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934. Yasujirō Shimazu, Japan) | snapper
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:50 am

doing it next Saturday so I make sure I have a chance to watch Night Must Fall first. anybody unable to get a copy of this drop me a PM
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:10 pm

It's also available on the Criterion Channel, if anyone else is a subscriber.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:46 pm

I'll be there.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Slentert » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:57 am

I'll be there too.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Torgo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:36 pm

I'll sit this one out since I've already seen it, but I just wanted to say you're in for a treat. Truly inspiring and uplifting cinema.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:49 pm

I've seen this one before, but I'll try to participate. Breillat is so good!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:29 pm

Just a heads-up: I might not be able to post here by Saturday as I got my wisdom teeth out this morning, and I'm feeling kinda sore, but I'll definitely get around to this one as soon as I can.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:52 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:36 pm
I'll sit this one out since I've already seen it, but I just wanted to say you're in for a treat. Truly inspiring and uplifting cinema.
LOL.

Or if you're serious . . .a different kind of LOL.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:32 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:29 pm
Just a heads-up: I might not be able to post here by Saturday as I got my wisdom teeth out this morning, and I'm feeling kinda sore, but I'll definitely get around to this one as soon as I can.
I of all people should be the most forgiving of such transgressions. I mean, did you see how long it took me to watch Oh Lucy?
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:53 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:32 am
I of all people should be the most forgiving of such transgressions. I mean, did you see how long it took me to watch Oh Lucy?
Hey, well better late than never.

Fortunately, I recovered a lot quicker than I expected, so I might be able to get around to this on time regardless.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:00 am

Yikes!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:57 am

welp, I don’t know what some of you were expecting. I can remember having part of the ending ruined for me a while ago, i.e. that Anais was raped. but not the other stuff. aye carumba. although the rape thing was well foreshadowed when we see Anais watching her sister get anally raped, her expression somewhat curious? or envious? maybe she didn’t even know at the time. I’m assuming we’re meant to take her reaction to the rape at the end as her learning from her sister’s experience and…. embracing it? the movie doesn’t exactly tell us why the murderer didn’t also kill her after the rape unless Anais living is supposed to symbolize her newfound worldliness shielding her from the harsh, cruel world.

both the sisters were of the same age when my brother and I started to grow apart. we’re still very, very estranged. our relationship was/is not a complete mirror of the two sisters but I’ve been on the outside and feeling that distance curdle into resentment. it might be even more painful for Anais given her helplessness, trapped in her youth and overweight body. ‘cause in all honesty, my relationship with my brother was (and maybe still is, unfortunately) more like Sandrine Bonnaire and her brother in A Nos Amours. I’m not fat younger sister, I’m muscular older brother and I’m sure I’m goddamn scary. Anais says she can’t hate her sister because it would be like hating a part of herself. well too bad bro, I hate myself so I can easily hate you too lol.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:02 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:57 am
welp, I don’t know what some of you were expecting.
This was my first Breillat but I was aware of her reputation so I was prepared to be provoked. (And I didn't fall for Mr. Torgo's joke)
Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:57 am
I’m assuming we’re meant to take her reaction to the rape at the end as her learning from her sister’s experience and…. embracing it?
Well, there's also the bit about how she wants her first time to be with someone she doesn't love.

I'm struggling with the end a bit, so I look forward to hearing others' thoughts. I'm sure it wasn't just for shock value and that there's a point being made but it escaped me in the moment. At this point all I've got is that it's an illustration of life as a woman/girl, where an encounter with a violent rapey man is a possibility at any given moment, so if it's no deeper than that then I guess I got it. It works for me on that level, but again I'd like to hear what others thought.

Up till the end I was completely on board, however. The "seduction" scene was appropriately harrowing and horrific. The relationship between the sisters struck me as very true to life. I've just got one brother, and our teen years were equal parts friendship/rivalry so I appreciate when that's reflected as opposed to the one-note "we're besties" and/or "I hate you" dynamic. Obviously sisters have a different set of issues to contend with, but that's just what I'm bringing to the table as a viewer.
And finally the highway segment was more tense than some action films I've seen. Well done.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:54 pm

the violent rape man could be a combo of "be careful what you wish for" and "knock knock, the real world is a brutal terrifying place and your innocence won't survive".

I know not everybody's first time is that, uh, terrifying. but it can also be a disorienting, scary experience and one where you find yourself farther from your family than you've ever been. so I guessssss that scene could be a visualization of that. albeit in a very very extreme way. unless I'm overthinking it a bit. but I don't want to assume Breillat just wanted to give us a jolt for jolt's sake.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:42 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:54 pm
I don't want to assume Breillat just wanted to give us a jolt for jolt's sake.
I think you're being too generous.

I think that she's technically skilled, but I've felt pretty "meh" about everything I've seen from her. Sex is Comedy is maybe the one I like the most. Anatomy of Hell is one of the worst movies I've seen, period.

Here is my most generous interpretation of the ending of Fat Girl": When you are like 11, 12, 13, you are starting to conceptualize sex and romance. And the models for "guys I like" are often grown men: teachers, older boys, your friend's 20-year old cousin, etc. But these are all people in their 20s or older. And you are a child. So the cruel fact of it is that if a "real man" (as opposed to some other 11 year old) actually wants to be sexual with you, he is a rapist and/or there is something deeply wrong with him. And so the only context in which the younger sister can be the desirable one and the older sister is the throwaway, is one in which the sexual male is a pedophilic rapist. It demonstrates the cruel impossibility of being desired at that age.

In my opinion, the murders at the end take the film to a place that is absurd and totally shatters the delicate balance of how the two sisters each suffer in their own way: one suffers because she is desirable, one suffers because she is not.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:24 am

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:54 pm
the violent rape man could be a combo of "be careful what you wish for" and "knock knock, the real world is a brutal terrifying place and your innocence won't survive".
What's confusing though is that she seemed real passive with the rapist at the end and looked strangely calm during the ordeal, so I'm not sure if Breillat was going for that or "Well, you got what you wanted." as a continuation of how Anais wanted to lose her virginity to someone she doesn't love. This may be an extreme representation of that, but it manages to get the point across if this is what she was going for.

As for the rest of the film, I thought it was a pretty effective and devastating film which explored a loss of innocence. It was hard to watch as Fernando manipulated Elena and forced his way onto her. The dialogue in those scenes was really well-written. I also found the love-hate relationship between the two sisters to be pretty relatable and a refreshing change of pace from simply having them despise each other as so often, it's the latter which I see represented in various films. Like CT, I also found the highway scene near the end to be suspenseful. Finally, some of the scenic shots were fairly impressive.

As for what I'd rate it, I feel I need to sit on this one a bit more, but I can definitely say I liked it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:29 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:42 pm
I think you're being too generous.
Having done some reading today, I'm starting to think you're right. Because I hadn't seen any of her other films I was giving her the benefit of the doubt, and there were enough glowing reviews on Letterboxd to convince me that I was just dense for not comprehending the end. But today's research led me to believe that Fat Girl is actually one of her more "accessible" films, so maybe she's not above "a jolt for jolt's sake" after all. I watched the Criterion bonus interviews, hoping that she'd discuss the end, and not only did she not address it at all, but she came across as a Friedkin-level a-hole as well, which didn't help. (There's footage of her berating Anais on set. Not a good look.) I liked enough of this film to keep me from completely writing her off for now, but I'll approach her other work with more skepticism.
Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:42 pm
In my opinion, the murders at the end take the film to a place that is absurd and totally shatters the delicate balance of how the two sisters each suffer in their own way: one suffers because she is desirable, one suffers because she is not.
This was my initial reaction as the moment happened. The rape/murders did nothing to resolve all the parts that I'd found interesting up to that point.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:49 am

Takoma wrote:Here is my most generous interpretation of the ending of Fat Girl": When you are like 11, 12, 13, you are starting to conceptualize sex and romance. And the models for "guys I like" are often grown men: teachers, older boys, your friend's 20-year old cousin, etc. But these are all people in their 20s or older. And you are a child. So the cruel fact of it is that if a "real man" (as opposed to some other 11 year old) actually wants to be sexual with you, he is a rapist and/or there is something deeply wrong with him. And so the only context in which the younger sister can be the desirable one and the older sister is the throwaway, is one in which the sexual male is a pedophilic rapist. It demonstrates the cruel impossibility of being desired at that age.
This is a good analysis, and puts it into the competitive context which the French title (À ma soeur!) seems to insist on. But I agree it's absurd and unpleasant and pretty much breaks the movie she'd made up to that point.

Breillat loves to shock for shock's sake, and she loves to make difficult, baffling films. I've watched 11 of her films now and the only one I really love is Sex Is Comedy. Oh, and Brief Crossing and Perfect Love are definitely worth a look, too.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:25 am

I remember some critic telling Jerzy Skolimowski that they loved Deep End up until the last 5 minutes to which Skolimowski replied that he had made Deep End for those last 5 minutes and I was wondering if Breillat would say the same about Fat Girl.
of course you could argue that Deep End's last 5 minutes are better set up as well. not quite the same rug-pulling but then it sounds like Breillat's brand could be that sort of rug-pulling?
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:36 am

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:... and I was wondering if Breillat would say the same about Fat Girl.
I'm sure she would. And she wanted exactly the reactions we're having here!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:55 am

I remember I was full of admiration when I binge-watched her movies. I guess I've soured a little in retrospect (shocking movies have that effect, in my experience) and I struggled (and often failed) to get on her wavelength, but she's definitely a unique and powerful voice worth the struggle.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:45 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:55 am
I remember I was full of admiration when I binge-watched her movies. I guess I've soured a little in retrospect (shocking movies have that effect, in my experience) and I struggled (and often failed) to get on her wavelength, but she's definitely a unique and powerful voice worth the struggle.
Unique and powerful, yes.

But worth the struggle? I'm sure for some people, yes. But after giving her several chances, I'm pretty much no longer interested in seeing any more of her work.

There are plenty of films that are "interesting failures", but I find that with her work I just don't have any interest in talking about them. Maybe it's because I find "shock for shock's sake" such a lazy way to generate buzz and emotion. I actually had to go back and reread a detailed plot summary of Fat Girl because all I remembered was the ending and how dumb (and offensive) I thought it was. It's not hard to provoke people (especially when you're willing to film the rape of a child and include nudity of that child). By the time I was suffering through Anatomy of Hell I'd come to realize just how tacky and borderline desperate her "edginess" is.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:32 pm

Anatomy of Hell really is terrible. :(
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:57 pm

I should mention this is my first Breillat and I could see myself giving another movie of her's a go, as I've been meaning to see more from BFI's Wild Bunch. I won't doubt y'all that Anatomy of Hell is edgelord (edgelady?) piffle unless my expectations are low enough that they can only be exceeded.

if I found the murder of the older sister truly upsetting and not just shocking it was because I felt she was portrayed sympathetically in spite of lacking Anais's "worldly" qualities. unless Breillat has straight-up said that her naivety meant she deserved getting axe-smacked. though I am aware that Anais's response to her rape is meant to drive home the stark distinction between her and her sister. (would her sister have felt she had been raped? maybe had she lived long enough she might have....)
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:03 pm

I'll probably check out Sex is Comedy since you two appear to like it quite a bit (and a couple of her other films, perhaps). I'll definitely approach the rest of her filmography with caution though.

As for this film, I'd still say it's a solid film. The ending may break the tone of the film which comes before it but, to be fair, that's about 5 minutes out of the whole film. I had a positive reaction throughout most of it. 7/10, probably.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:21 pm

but that's a very crucial 5 minutes! she made this movie for those 5 minutes!

it does break the tone but I also felt the preceding tone was made so it could then be broken. (though as I said earlier, I was watching knowing that a rape was coming for Anais so my whiplash wasn't quite so severe)
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:47 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:57 pm
I won't doubt y'all that Anatomy of Hell is edgelord (edgelady?) piffle unless my expectations are low enough that they can only be exceeded.
I'd have to revisit it (SPOILER: I am not going to revisit it) to be more confident in this statement, but I also felt like Anatomy of Hell had some strains of homophobia as well.
if I found the murder of the older sister truly upsetting and not just shocking it was because I felt she was portrayed sympathetically in spite of lacking Anais's "worldly" qualities. unless Breillat has straight-up said that her naivety meant she deserved getting axe-smacked. though I am aware that Anais's response to her rape is meant to drive home the stark distinction between her and her sister. (would her sister have felt she had been raped? maybe had she lived long enough she might have....)
The murder of the sister and the mother are upsetting . . . but do they mean anything? Do they serve any purpose? I strongly felt like the answer was no.

And you know what else? It's really frustrating to have the more subtle sexual abuse of the older sister be overshadowed by the more garish "stranger danger" rape of the younger sister. What happens to the older sister is a thousand times more real, and a thousand times more of a problem for real girls/young women. A girl like Anais (with her lack of self confidence, her frustrated desire, etc) would be far more likely to fall victim to a friend of the family, a relative, a trusted authority figure. An axe wielding maniac (even allegorically) isn't what threatens a girl like Anais. I think that having a violent rapist actually softens, by context, what is done to the older sister. I find the whole dynamic of what the ending does to recontextualize what has come before it really distressing.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:03 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:47 pm
And you know what else? It's really frustrating to have the more subtle sexual abuse of the older sister be overshadowed by the more garish "stranger danger" rape of the younger sister. What happens to the older sister is a thousand times more real,
Bingo! The scene in the bed was unbearable to watch, while the rape at the end left me feeling nothing but "wtf". Quite an accomplishment to depict the forcible rape of a kid and not have me feel anything about it. In fact at that point my main concern was for the actress having to endure it. So on that level I've gotta consider it a misstep.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:23 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:I'll probably check out Sex is Comedy since you two appear to like it quite a bit (and a couple of her other films, perhaps). I'll definitely approach the rest of her filmography with caution though.
Definitely check out that one and Brief Crossing. Her more recent movies are less shocking, but also less interesting, in my opinion. If you want a slightly more accessible example of her Anatomy of Hell-level edginess, try Romance.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:28 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:47 pm
And you know what else? It's really frustrating to have the more subtle sexual abuse of the older sister be overshadowed by the more garish "stranger danger" rape of the younger sister. What happens to the older sister is a thousand times more real, and a thousand times more of a problem for real girls/young women. A girl like Anais (with her lack of self confidence, her frustrated desire, etc) would be far more likely to fall victim to a friend of the family, a relative, a trusted authority figure. An axe wielding maniac (even allegorically) isn't what threatens a girl like Anais. I think that having a violent rapist actually softens, by context, what is done to the older sister. I find the whole dynamic of what the ending does to recontextualize what has come before it really distressing.
shit, this is a good point. I'd probably have to rethink what kind of contrast Breillat was trying to draw between the two sisters (and that would have been her intent, yeah? drawing a contrast?)
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:47 pm
And you know what else? It's really frustrating to have the more subtle sexual abuse of the older sister be overshadowed by the more garish "stranger danger" rape of the younger sister. What happens to the older sister is a thousand times more real, and a thousand times more of a problem for real girls/young women. A girl like Anais (with her lack of self confidence, her frustrated desire, etc) would be far more likely to fall victim to a friend of the family, a relative, a trusted authority figure. An axe wielding maniac (even allegorically) isn't what threatens a girl like Anais. I think that having a violent rapist actually softens, by context, what is done to the older sister. I find the whole dynamic of what the ending does to recontextualize what has come before it really distressing.
That's a great way of putting it. Whatever Breillat was trying to communicate at the end seems to undermine what happened to the older sister.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:23 pm
Definitely check out that one and Brief Crossing. Her more recent movies are less shocking, but also less interesting, in my opinion. If you want a slightly more accessible example of her Anatomy of Hell-level edginess, try Romance.
Okay, thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:42 pm

'cause even if symbolically we are supposed to have Anais totally isolated from her family, it would still have to be with a guy she is at least somewhat charmed by. and even then, the isolation isn't of her own choice. IF one were to draw a better contrast(?) hurm.....

if anyone has any interviews or videos of Breillat talking about this, hit me up
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:47 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:36 pm
I'll sit this one out since I've already seen it, but I just wanted to say you're in for a treat. Truly inspiring and uplifting cinema.
Torgo, I'm sitting you in. what did you think of Fat Girl?
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Torgo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:15 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:47 pm
Torgo, I'm sitting you in. what did you think of Fat Girl?
Thanks for the invitation, but I read my post again and realized it was BS. Carry on.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:57 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:15 pm
I think it was necessary for the movie to depict a sexual assault borne from sheer force as opposed to Fernando's more manipulative one.
Why?

What possible message can you take about sexual assault from the way that the two scenes are shot and placed relative to one another? Or what possible understanding of adolescent female anxiety can you take from those scenes?

If anything, in my opinion, the movie has it completely backwards. As a child, you are taught to fear the strange men in the shadows. You are not taught to fear your soccer coach or the nice guy who comes to work on cars with your dad. How does portraying that fear as a reality contribute to a narrative about what it's like to be an adolescent girl?

Please anyone finish this sentence for me: "Thanks to that final scene, the viewer understands/feels/has access to . . . ."

And then tell me how the older sister's abuse being minimized is worth it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:32 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:15 pm
While it's not a totally accurate comparison, it makes me think of Peggy's story in the first season of Mad Men, albeit more graphic and less subtle, of course.
jog my memory, by 'story' are you referring to
her getting pregnant by Pete and the moving the f on by giving up the baby? or was there a singular 'story' that she shared that was about something else
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:11 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:57 pm
Please anyone finish this sentence for me: "Thanks to that final scene, the viewer understands/feels/has access to . . . ."
also, iirc my initial feelings were "Thanks to that final scene, the viewer understands that one sister's hardened and cynical view of love will ultimately protect her from real-world brutality unlike the other, more naive sister"

which I'm *guessing* was Breillat's intent regardless of whether that idea was expressed well. Breillat could be saying that willingly submitting to the brutal and inexplicable "rules" of the real world will better protect you than resistance. albeit they way it is expressed on-screen is through a young girl submitting to a surprise (and as being argued, unrealistic) rape and then denying it (as her own way of refusing to be a victim? which, taken literally is very pernicious).

I'm still pondering....
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:13 pm

I did find an interview with Breillat talking about how Fat Girl came about
RICH: Where did the ideas for your script originate?

BREILLAT: Well, it’s strange. I first thought of making this movie when I saw a scene that was exactly the same as the one in my film: a little girl in a hotel swimming pool, moving back and forth talking to herself as if speaking words of love to imaginary boys. It was in Taormina, in Sicily, when I was there for the film festival. I could not invent such a scene. I just changed the song: the girl I saw in the pool was Italian, and she was singing Francoise Hardy’s song, “Tous Les Garçons.” I changed it to a song about a crow that I wrote when I was 12 or 13, inspired by Francois Villon’s “La ballade des pendus.”

It was so strange to see this girl, who was so sexual and pure — and so big also, so young and so strong — that I knew it was the beginning of a movie. I could not forget this scene, and I worked and worked on a synopsis with the title Fat Girl. Then, I remembered a tabloid news story I had read 20 years earlier about a young girl — a girl between childhood and adolescence — who was raped. The newspaper that reported the story said that the little girl had saved her own life, while others were killed, because she understood that if she accepted rape she would not be harmed. And I thought, what if I combine these two into one girl?

RICH: That idea was popularized in the U.S. as well, some years ago — that women are not supposed to fight back against rape because that leads to their being killed. It was a whole ideology I suspect was organized against the women’s self-defense classes of the time: Let them rape you, and you will live.

BREILLAT: Yes, true. But as she was so young, the newspaper told this story both from a politically correct point of view and also in such a way as to give you a sensational feeling of sexuality, to sell papers. This hypocrisy was something very horrible to me. I thought, what if the young girl who was raped was the same young girl that’s in the swimming pool? I could end the film with someone saying to the audience, “This is not a rape.” By that, she is saying: “I have never been raped, because nobody can rape my mind; you don’t have to worry about me.”

For me, the initial rape is that of the virginity of the young girl, the sister, who does not get to own her own virginity. Society wants to know if a young girl is a virgin or not. I think that is a rape. The older sister is the real rape in the film because she is in a position where you have to combine sentimentality with the physical act. This kind of sexual act is very normal, but she feels the boy must be the love of her life. It’s just a summer love, but she thinks it’s not normal, not normal enough. We give so much emphasis to the sexual acts of a young girl that she wants him to tell her lies. When she agrees to have sex with him, she agrees because she thinks it’s love. But she’s really accepting this rationale because of his lies. I think this is mental rape, the worst rape — because it’s a rape in which the woman gives up her self-esteem, a rape that does not even show up as a rape, because everyone lives like that — lives for romatic love. That’s why I say that Fat Girl is like a sitcom. It’s completely ridiculous that we live for lies. Actually, it’s not ridiculous, it’s not funny. It’s terrible. I say it’s like a sitcom, but since I go into the truth of sentimental emotion, in that way it isn’t really like one. It is more tragic and more comic. You have to think about it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:37 pm

Oh, barf.

If you ever find yourself using the phrase "real rape", please reevaluate your life choices.

Plus, the argument that a physical assault and a mental one can somehow be siloed is just tremendously wrong from my point of view. Like, I sort of understand what she is trying to say, but I think that the film she made, the way she shot the different scenes, and the lasting impression that she leaves works completely counter to what she's saying in that interview. I also think that "female strength through accepting and enduring rape" is a dangerous, horrible notion.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Rock » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:16 am

I have not seen Fat Girl and may not after reading the above (which I probably shouldn't have done given the spoilers, but that's my own damn fault), but has anyone here seen Abuse of Weakness with Isabelle Huppert? It's provocative but mostly free of the obvious transgressive material you guys describe. It's based on her own experience of falling victim to a con artist, and explores how a seemingly intelligent and independent person can fall victim to what from a distance seems like obvious manipulation. I'll give that one a recommendation.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by crumbsroom » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:52 am

I've never loved any movie that Breillat has done, but I've kind of like all of those that I've seen at least somewhat, including the much maligned (and maybe fairly) Anatomy of Hell. Maybe it's because I wasn't taking many of her provocations very seriously and just found myself somewhat taken in by the weird clinical tone of her films. I think she's fairly decent, but not enough to wade into either championing her or defending her from her critics.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:22 am

Yeah. I could make a case for several of her films but, except for two or three, it wouldn't seem worth it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:27 am

crumbsroom wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:52 am
found myself somewhat taken in by the weird clinical tone of her films.
I know what you mean, and this is what led me to try out several of her films. (I watched Fat Girl and wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt that the final 10 minutes were just a serious misstep).

For me, she is someone who has a style/vibe that is compelling, but ultimately it's in service of harmful, careless, cheap sentiment and messages. When style and technique are used to forward such things, it's too hard for me to just stand back and admire the technical elements. It's frustrating to have such an interesting and unique voice being used to create content that I find borderline immoral in its messaging.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:56 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:37 pm
I also think that "female strength through accepting and enduring rape" is a dangerous, horrible notion.
aye, I probably saw this movie through the lens of so many male-oriented movies where you are taught that hardship is necessary for personal growth.

I know if Clint Eastwood were in this movie we would have seen him grudgingly teach Anais how to fire a gun, ride a horse, drink whisky, and how to take and dish out verbal abuse. then the murder-rapist would escape from jail in time for her to take revenge. afterwards he'd say something like "mighty good shootin' there, fatty", pull his hat down over his brow and ride off into sunset.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:23 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:56 pm
I know if Clint Eastwood were in this movie
If Clint Eastwood were in this movie, he'd be the rapist, then he and some other guys would have a laugh about it. Later when another women told him that she knew he was a rapist, he'd say, "As I recall, she enjoyed that quite a bit."

Just, you know, a theory.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:43 pm

whoops, I forgot about High Plains Drifter
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:10 pm

bump in case anyone wants to recommend the next movie. I've been hearing requests for Angela Schanelec, Czech New Wave, etc.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #5: Fat Girl (Sat 6/22)

Post by Torgo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:51 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:10 pm
bump in case anyone wants to recommend the next movie. I've been hearing requests for Angela Schanelec, Czech New Wave, etc.
Milos Forman's The Firemen's Ball, perhaps?
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