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Sex Is Comedy Review

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Female Director, Jeanne, is having a nightmare setting up the sex ascene for her movie. She contends with a the need to not exploit her teenage heroine and a prosthetic erection for her male lead.

★★★★★

Filming the sex sequences in A Ma Soeur clearly proved problematic for Catherine Breillat, as this behind-the-scenes satire a clef is all about the professional and personal conflicts involved in coaxing two actors to simulate intimacy before a curious crew in a way that will both satisfy the director and convince a future audience.

Anne Parillaud's dilemma is not helped by the fact she's aware of the antipathy between her leads and is anxious to avoid exploiting teenager Roxane Mesquida, while not humiliating off-screen lover Gregoire Colin, who has to supplement his nudity with a prosthetic erection.

Highlighting the inherent problems facing a female auteur in a predominantly male environment, Breillat considers the clash between collaboration and control, ego and emotion with acuity. But the patronising tone and sham significance of Parillaud's philosophising render this a self-conscious and rather empty exercise.