Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 288: Tue Oct 15

Abuse of Weakness (Breillat, 2013): Odeon West End Two, 12.30pm

57th LONDON FILM FESTIVAL (9-20 October 2013) DAY 7

Every day (from October 9 to October 20) I will be selecting the London Film Festival choices you have a chance to get tickets for and the movies you are unlikely to see in London very soon unless you go to see them at the Festival. Here is the LFF's main website for the general information you need. Don't worry if some of the recommended films are sold out by the time you read this as there are always some tickets on offer which go on sale 30 minutes before each screening. Here is the information you need to get those standby tickets.

LFF introduction: 
We expect Catherine Breillat’s films to be confrontational, but Abuse of Weakness is one of her most compelling to date, and arguably her most personal. Isabelle Huppert plays director and author Maud who, following a stroke that leaves her partly paralysed, chooses an unlikely lead actor for her next project – Vilko Piran (Kool Shen), an inveterate con man turned literary star. While their film collaboration is slow to materialise, the pair’s relationship becomes a fraught battle for control as Maud finds herself in thrall to Vilko, writing endless cheques to fund his lifestyle. ‘Abuse of Weakness’ is a legal term, but Breillat questions the real meaning of the phrase, leaving the viewer to determine whether Maud truly is weak or whether the exploitation she willingly undergoes is her way of exercising power and control. What makes the story especially charged is the fact that similar events happened to Breillat herself; indeed, this is her second treatment of the episode, following her autobiographical book of 2009. Helping her cast a pitiless searchlight on her own/Maud’s complicity in her ruin is Isabelle Huppert’s mesmerising performance, which – while uncannily close to the real Breillat – transcends impersonation to become a fearless study in will and perversity. In this searching and soberly executed drama, rapper turned actor Kool Shen offers unnerving support as Vilko, the user who’s also, we increasingly suspect, the used.
Jonathan Romney

Here (and above) is an excerpt.

This film also screens on Oct 14th at OWE2 and Oct 17th at Cine Lumiere. Details here

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