Indulgent 'erotic' fare from self-obsessed auteur

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Score 2

Product:

Sex Is Comedy

OPENS JULY 25, CERT 18, 92 MINS

The incresingly narcissistic Catherine Breillat, whose Romance and A Ma Soeur! caused controversy for their ‘frank’ sexuality, rams her head irretrievably up her own backside here.

Modestly casting Anne Parillaud as herself, she gives us a peep behind the scenes of a film shoot, particularly the intimate scenes. How do an actor and actress, frosty towards each other in real life, prepare for an on-screen shag? How does the tortured visionary genius that is the director (guess who) psyche them and herself up? And what makes our fearless auteur drive on to realise her art against all odds? None of these questions are answered, but much time’s spent portraying the Breillat figure (played with style by Parillaud) as a modern-day Jeanne D’Arc. If you can stomach lines like, “I love post-industrial garbage dumps,” and, “We only love the men we despise,” and find hilarity in an actor quibbling over the size of his prosthetic penis, bonne chance to you. Truffaut’s turning in his grave.