chapter  21
12 Pages

• Catherine Breillat: The Warfare of Sexuality

To understand Breillat and her approach, her work must be considered within the contexts of women as directors (and women as directors in France) and women as representations of culture. It is telling that of the fourteen directors I discuss in the book only three are women. (I have addressed this appalling statistic elsewhere; see The Technique of Film and Video Editing, 3rd ed., Focal Press, 2002, pp. 175-181.) Whether the reason is the politics of film or the economics of the industry, the fact is that far fewer women than men become film directors. Many who do tend to make assertive films about the plight of women, such as Margarethe Von Trotta (“Rosenstrasse”), Agnieszka Holland (“Olivier, Olivier”), Clara Law (“Floating Life”), Deepa Mehta (“Fire”), Julie Dash (“Daughters of the Dust”), Amy Heckerling (“Clueless”), and Angelica Huston

(“Bastard Out of Carolina”). Other female directors deal with a broader band of narrative material in their films, including Ida Lupino (“The Burglar”), Diane Keaton (“Unstrung Heroes”), and Kathryn Bigelow (“Point Break”).