A man rescues a woman from a suicide attempt in a gay nightclub. Walking the streets together, she propositions him: She'll pay him to visit her at her isolated house for four consecutive nights. There he will silently watch her. He's reluctant, but agrees. As the four nights progress, they become more intimate with each other, and a mutual fascination/revulsion develops. By the end of the four-day "contract", these two total strangers will have had a profound impact on each other.
This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.
... View More
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
... View More
I know that Breillat has a lot of big fans - personally I've only seen FAT GIRL, which I thought to be promising, but ultimately failed by what I felt to be a "tacked-on" ending that felt out of place with the rest of the film, and only seemed included to add an extra bit of shock-value to an otherwise solid film. ANATOMY OF HELL is another film that is somewhat interesting, but seems to lose itself in it's own "contemplative-ness".A woman (Amira Casar), who obviously has severe feelings of self-loathing, meets a gay man (porn "legend" Rocco Siffredi), when Rocco enters a bathroom where the woman has just cut her wrist with a razor-blade. Rocco takes the woman to a doctor to get fixed-up, and she decides to blow Rocco on the walk home. She is apparently intrigued by his ability to bust a nut with her in this fashion, being that he's gay and all - so she pays him to come over to her place for a few nights to "display" herself for him and to have lengthy discourses about the disgust and/or awe that men feel for female genitalia. Rocco's input in said conversations comes from a somewhat unique point-of-view, as initially, he is repulsed by vaginas in general, and therefore can speak freely and honestly about the topic. But invariably, his curiosity of the organ gets the better of him, and the two begin some strange "explorations", including rock-dildo insertion, used-tampon water drinking, and vaginal rake insertion - all culminating in feelings of near-obsession on Rocco's part, and his realization of what all straight guys the world over have always known: as great as pussy is - it really is the root of all of our problems.I applaud Breillat's willingness to tackle "touchy" subjects, and to do so on film with graphic, voyeuristic views into her character's lives - but just as with FAT GIRL - I felt that the film was a relatively interesting concept that just didn't have enough "substance" to sustain it as a full-length film. The performances were solid, and I felt that Rocco especially did a good job as the conflicted gay man who has become enthralled with the hoo-ha. But again, I don't really see what the real point of the film is, other than to state the obvious - men and women will never understand each other, and most of this is due to our conflicting views on sex and sexuality...6/10
... View More
It's going to be very hard to write a review for this film that isn't going to be pounced on by censorship, but I'll give it a try.Within the first five minutes of this film, a woman attempts suicide in the bathroom of a gay disco. It is, perhaps, the most cheerful moment in this bleak, drab film that takes a close-up and clinical look at women's genitalia and the men who don't love them. And apparently the women who aren't feeling too good about them either, since the reason that the "heroine" attempts to kill herself is, she says, because she's a woman.A gay man saves her and winds up spending four nights watching her. Of course, he winds up doing more than that. At one point, he manages to lodge the handle of a large gardening tool in a rather intimate location... without waking her up. Does _anybody_ sleep that soundly? Well, maybe the audience...In between long segments of the character "man" telling us why he's gay (although you wouldn't know it by watching this movie!) and the heroine "woman" tells us why its so hard to be her, we get some truly remarkable revelations. Ever wondered how long a woman could hold a rock inside her girlie bits or what large quantities of menstrual blood look like when smeared across the groin of a partially-aroused Frenchman? Then this is the movie for you! At one point, the heroine goes so far as to equate her reproductive opening to a vast black void, and in yet another we learn that men can give only death, and that's why gay men turn gay. Or something. You know, it's hard to follow a story when every line in the script is a veritable hyperbola of pith and the observation of humanity. Well, some seemingly quite miserable segment of humanity, anyhow.I am, admittedly, not a devotee of French cinema. I subscribe to the stereotype that most French movies are... well... like this one. There are people in the world who take their lower regions far too seriously, and one of them has made a movie.If you've ever wanted to kill yourself over the fact that you possess genitalia, be sure and check out this fine croissant stuffed with French cheese and a few things that IMDb won't let me mention using the names by which they're most commonly called. Mark my words, you'll never look at your crotch the same way again!
... View More
Anatomy of Hell is very similar to all of Catherine Breillat's other work, with the exception of its lack of completeness. It doesn't have the ambition, for instance, to move very far from an uncommonly sparse hotel room, where it mostly takes place. Still, an interest in film has to be an extension of an interest and faith in the value of opinion, which is something Catherine Breillat survives on, and which is a benefit of seeing this movie.I'm personally skeptical about Breillat because I'm unsure of the capabilities of pure speculation in film. I think that what she is doing could be much more pithily and unequivocally explained in an essay. It is also offensively confident work, a fact revealed by the consistency and one-dimensionality of her movies. I guess there is a miscommunication there, since the films tend to be so metaphysical and so astonished by mystery while simultaneously being overtly comfortable with their theme. That, to me, is actually the most disturbing element in her work.
... View More
SPOILERS! Another reviewer mentions "Irreversible" when talking about this film. "Irreversible" was horrific and very hard to watch, but at least one could say it had a point. I'm pretty sure "Anatomy of Hell" has no point at all. What is the point, for instance, of taking a used tampon, dipping it in water like a teabag, and then drinking the water? I suppose if one wanted to inspire intense nausea that would work. Or what is the point of inserting a garden implement handle into a woman's vagina--and leaving it there? This "movie" consists of LONG vignettes of lackadaisical upper-crust European types talking in monotones leading up to profoundly disgusting physical acts. Breillat must think this equals artistic significance, but it's more like a lousy geek show that overcharges for admission and then is boring. "9 Songs" was similar in some ways, but at least the sex in "9 songs" was erotic, and the music was hot. I just can't imagine what reason "Anatomy of Hell" has for existing.