Sex is Comedy

Year: 2002
Country: France
Running time: 92 mins
Director/Screenplay: Catherine Breillat
Photography: Laurent Machuel
Editor: Pascale Chavance
In French with English subtitles

With: Anne Parillaud, Grégoire Colin, Roxane Mesquida, Ashley Wanninger

Festivals: Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Edinburgh, Toronto 2002; Rotterdam, San Francisco 2003
Catherine Breillat, of Romance and À ma soeur! infamy, satirises the decade’s new genre, the behind-the-scenes DVD extra, and parodies her own reputation as a hardcore theorist of female sexuality. Anne Parillaud stars as a filmmaker directing an arduous sex scene with young actors who detest each other.

“Full of witticisms and aphorisms, Sex is Comedy takes the viewer into a faux-authentic sex shoot complete with giant fake penis, nerve-shattered cast and unflappable crew… Breillat here seems inclined to give her audience the answers they want: how she gets her actors to do these things… The tricks, lies, evasions and interpersonal sparring that fill this script could fill a dozen more, while Parillaud’s directorial jibes call to mind every self-reflexive French film from François Truffaut’s Day for Night to Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep.” — B. Ruby Rich.

“As visions of absurdity go, Grégoire Colin clowning with a prosthetic penis isn’t bad. Still, Sex is Comedy's payoff offers more than the words in its title.” — Johnny Ray Huston, San Francisco Bay Guardian

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