Une Vieille Maitresse / The Last Mistress

The Tournées Festival of New French Cinema
Friday, January 28, 2011 - 7:00pm

The young and dissolute Ryno de Marigny is betrothed to marry Hermangarde, an extremely virtuous gem of the French aristocracy. Their future wedding is on everyone's lips. But some, who wish to prevent the union despite the young couple's mutual love, whisper that the young man will never break off his passionate love affair with Vellini, “a capricious flamenca who can outstare the sun.” Ryno's attempt to remain faithful to his wife Hermangarde profoundly fails as Vellini reappears in Ryno's life, offering him the passion and emotional connection he lacks in his marriage. His reluctant obsession with Vellini eventually overtakes his conscience, as he succumbs to the deceitful path of infidelity. In a rush of confidences, betrayals and secrets, facing conventions and destiny, feelings will prove their strength to be invincible. France's foremost provocatrice, Catherine Breillat continues to surprise as she pursues her career-long interest in the ramifications of female desire. Breillat's sumptuous adaptation of Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly's Une vieille maîtresse is set during the reign of Louis Philippe, but this dangerous liaison is recognizably modern. Disrupting cinematic as well as social conventions, Breillat's point is anchored in the force of Asia Argento's carnality.

(Catherine Breillat, 2007, 114 min, 35mm)

The Tournées Festival of New French Cinema
January 7-February 4, 2011
For the third winter, the FSC and France Chicago Center partner to bring a series of contemporary French films to campus. This year, spend five Friday evenings with the films of innovative directors whose work represents the best of French cinema today.

Support for the Tournées Festival is provided by The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, The Centre National de la Cinématographie, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Grand Marnier Foundation and highbrow entertainment.