Confrontational French auteur Catherine Breillat — who is maturing, but once boldly declared, "all true artists are hated" — had once decided to shoot a film called, "Bad Love," starring Naomi Campbell circa 2007/'08.
But the project, based on her novel of the same name, basically died, reportedly just a few days ago because infamous French con artist Christophe Rocancourt (cast as the male lead) allegedly scammed Breillat — who suffered a stroke in 2004 — out of around 650.000 Euros (and according to this French source, Breillat will write a non-fiction book (and probably quite a scabrous one) entitled, "Rocancourt et moi" about her wretched experience with him.
However, just yesterday at the New York Film Festival Q&A for her latest film, "Bluebeard" which we were in attendance for — a wry, painterly and formalistic fairy tale based on the classic French story of violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives —said he is undeterred to make the project.
" 'The Last Mistress' (her '07 film starring Asia Argento) took me 10 years to make," Breillat said, claiming all of her films have had trouble becoming financed initially. "I certainly haven't said my last word," she said defiantly about "Bad Love," and noted that she still hopes to have Naomi Campbell in the lead. Breillat did not speak of the Rocancourt situation and simply said the project was facing financing problems in France for "multiple reasons."
What's 'Bad Love' about? Here's what Amazon France says, but it sounds like another savage love tale.
Vivian Parker, a star sublime and lofty, met Louis at a film festival. Without knowing why, she gives him her phone number. So began a passion that unites two people who disagree about everything. Caught up in the frenzy of their irrational love, the lovers will discover little by little, before tearing. With this novel in two voices, by turns moving, sensual, dark and cruel, Catherine Breillat depicts a tragic love story, a story of mutual devouring.
Meanwhile, next up for the filmmaker is an adaptation of another fairy tale in "Sleeping Beauty" which will likely continue Breillat's new boudoir/ chamber music-like phase which includes aesthetic demonstrated in "Bluebeard" such as exact framing, painterly composition and formalistic symbolic preciseness. "Bluebeard" was an interesting effort, but perhaps not quite as bold as say, "Fat Girl," nor as engaging as the wickedness evinced in the very enjoyable, "The Last Mistress." We're thankful that this slow-moving, storybook like picture has found U.S. distribution, but we're not entirely surprised it's a small outfit like Strand, because the appeal to this one will be for Breillat devotees and likely not much more. Not that that should deter you. If you do have a chance to see the picture you should, but it's a bit of an curious artistic exercises rather than an entirely immersive experience. Though one can certainly argue for it's somewhat hypnotic qualities (though one guy next to me was asleep the whole time).