Fat Girl Screen 4 articles

Fat Girl

2001

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  • It's a tour-de-force, a sexual drama that pulls no punches and insists on sticking to the uncorrupted truth. It’s framed as a summertime tale of love, hate and competition between two young sisters — one pre-adolescent and one about to take the plunge into womanhood. . . . It’s an unusually frank coming-of-age drama about girls confronting the nature of sexuality, desire and power. The film is directly sexual without the porn legibility of Romance, but is possibly more emotionally biting.

  • The universe of Breillat is not one where sex is glorified, nor is female subjectivity. Her feminism resides on the ability of portraying woman at their most loving, vulnerable, cruel, detached, and thirsty. This is arguably something radically different than mainstream ideas about feminism in its provocative representations of desire, sexuality, and eroticism. It is a call to arms against the status quo; it is decidedly unapologetic, sometimes barbaric, often bittersweet, and always remarkable.

  • It's a meticulous work of genre subversion. Her career-long fixation on themes like “desire, guilt, romance and anti-romance (which are the same thing)” impress the conviction of her ongoing affront against both the pestiferous clichés and contrived iconoclasm often present in representations of female sexuality under the male gaze.

  • Breillat's description of the film as a “psychological sitcom” is spot on, especially the way in which it depicts the Pignot family unit – an overworked father who barely has time for his kids, and a catatonic mother who spends more time smoking cigarettes than talking to her children. Their disregard is rather hilarious in its intensity, especially in the final car ride home, their tiny sedan pinned between hulking trucks, the gray industrial landscape invading their consciousness.

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