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David Poland

By David Poland

Sleeper Punch?

With all the discussion about Sucker Punch and whether it’s empowerment, empornement or just fantasy fun, a similarly themed film with Emily Browning is landing in Cannes.

Clearly, Sleeping Beauty is more in the Breillat, Belle du Jour camp (as in, ” it will take itself very seriously”). And the titles, cutting, and music on the trailer mean that someone thinks it’s Kubrickian. But will it be an important compare-and-contrast moment for people who like to consider cinema in a serious way, aside from the high-minded comparisons? Will this film somehow force some of us to take Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch more seriously? Or will it be a teaching moment, showing how the same idea can be made with or without insight ?

Of course, Sleeping Beauty could be worse than Snyder’s film. It could be prurient. Breillat’s work certainly flips between masturbatory (literally and figuratively) and brilliant. Just because it’s a woman creating the soft-core porn doesn’t make it smart.

We’ll see…

Sleeping Beauty from Pollen Digital on Vimeo.

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13 Responses to “Sleeper Punch?”

  1. IOv3 says:

    Lex would amazing the hell out of that trailer. A trailer that you have to love because it features PULL QUOTES from JANE CHAMPION, WHOSE THE ONE PRESENTING THE FILM IN THE FIRST PLACE! Seriously, that’s hilarious, but the film looks like creepy art film sexploitation, so yay to another one of these fucking films.

  2. JKill says:

    I’m confused on what’s meant by soft porn. Doesn’t porn imply that the only reason for its being is to “get off” the viewer? I don’t know, is LAST TANGO IN PARIS soft core porn because it focuses on graphic, simulated sex or is THE BROWN BUNNY or NINE SONGS hard-core porn because they feature actually sex? It seems like an unfortunate term to demean any art with sex as a concern.

  3. Don R. Lewis says:

    Not to get all film schooly or hoity-toity, but what Breillat does and what Snider is being said to have done/does/whatever are on such different wavelengths, I can’t even think of a semi-clever joke comparison to make (was gonna go with “If Jimmy’s a genius, I’m U Thant).

    While I think Breillat misses more than she hits, she’s always interesting, erotic and creepy. She actually HAS something to say that isn’t “dude, this would look so cool in slo-mo!!”Not only that, but what she’s saying makes you question what you think about when you think of empowerment or feminism…if you know, you like, think about those things.

  4. movieman says:

    Is this possibly an English-language remake of “House of Sleeping Beauties” with Maximilian Schell? There definitely seem to be similarities plot-wise, although “House” was mostly told from the perspective of an old coot who patronized the brothel.
    Looks mildly intriguing, but the most eye-catching part of the trailer was seeing Jane Campion’s name bandied about.
    P.S.= Is the actress who plays the madam deliberately channelling Charlotte Rampling?

  5. The Pope says:

    I laughed too. It reminded me of the polymath in Yellow Submarine, the one who writes and then reviews his own books. If Campion pulls that stunt, why can’t Snyder?

  6. NickF says:

    Looks like Stanley Kubrick’s wet dream.

  7. Bigbull says:

    This does look like a sexploitation film with arthouse pretensions.

  8. Lisa says:

    David, I’m not sure that the question should be whether or not sexploitation films have any value as a genre. I think the more important question is do the filmmaker’s have any interest in approaching these issues with some degree of artistic merit or psychological complexity.

  9. IOv3 says:

    Lisa by the shot of Browning in her drawers in the trailer. I am going to go with NOT approaching this with some degree of artistic merit or psychological complexity.

  10. Lisa says:

    The other big difference between Sucker Punch and something like Belle de Jour is that the latter two films are about women who are initiating these sexual experiences, not being drawn in as victims. Whether or not you believe the kinds of violent sexual behaviors the films depict are antifeminist and oppressive no matter what, the distinction between consensual and non-consensual is important to the conversation. When I look at this trailer though I am more reminded of Story of O, another tale about a woman who finds herself drawn to an underground sexual subculture. It may not be politically correct, but there’s an honesty and frankness that is both entrancing and disturbing, while Snyder seems content with only depicting a shiny surface.

  11. The Big Perm says:

    I like Breillat because I get to watch blowjobs but also feel smart about it.

  12. Not David Bordwell says:

    I liked this movie a lot when it was called “Dollhouse” and starred Eliza Dushku and Olivia Williams.

  13. Kevin says:

    Uh, you guys do realize that this film has nothing at all to do with Catherine Breillat? It’s directed by Julia Leigh making her feature debut.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

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There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

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