Bluebeard

Overview

Controversial filmmaker Catherine Breillat puts a new spin on an ancient story in this multileveled drama. In France in the mid-'50s, Catherine Marilou Lopes-Benites enjoys toying with her older sister, Marie-Anne Lola Giovannetti, by reading her the story of the murderous and oft-married Bluebeard, embellishing the story with plenty of gore and scaring the girl out of her wits. As Catherine rereads the story, we're taken back to the year 1697, as Lord Bluebeard Dominique Thomas prepares to make Marie-Catherine ...
See more details below
DVD (Wide Screen / Subtitled)
$14.99
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$24.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (12) from $4.95   
  • New (7) from $14.58   
  • Used (5) from $4.95   

Overview

Controversial filmmaker Catherine Breillat puts a new spin on an ancient story in this multileveled drama. In France in the mid-'50s, Catherine Marilou Lopes-Benites enjoys toying with her older sister, Marie-Anne Lola Giovannetti, by reading her the story of the murderous and oft-married Bluebeard, embellishing the story with plenty of gore and scaring the girl out of her wits. As Catherine rereads the story, we're taken back to the year 1697, as Lord Bluebeard Dominique Thomas prepares to make Marie-Catherine Lola Créton his seventh wife. Marie-Catherine's youth and innocence make her an especially attractive quarry to Bluebeard, and rather than murder her right away, he decides to wait a while in order to savor the terrible joy of claiming her life. However, as Bluebeard becomes caught in a cycle of events that keep him from following through on his wife's murder, the two slowly become something like a normal couple and Marie-Catherine begins to turn the tables on her spouse. Barbe Bleue aka Bluebeard received its world premiere at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; Other strand releasing trailers
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
For nearly 35 years, Catherine Breillat has staked her claim as one of a handful of international directors capable of deftly and intelligently exploring the psychology and emotionality of sexual politics. In so doing, she consistently projects an utter fearlessness in the limits to which she pushes her actors, characters, and scenarios, within the boundaries of arthouse eroticism. The irony of Breillat's Bluebeard -- a revisionist take on Charles Perrault's now-infamous 17th century folktale of a wife murderer -- is that it qualifies as one of the most brazenly sexual of Breillat's films, but contains not a single act of intercourse or an iota of nudity. This is possible because the heavily allegorical film focuses, thematically, on young women's pre-coital perceptions of sex -- and the fantasies and fears that often grow so confusingly intertwined. While not completely successful, the film does qualify as one of the most provocative and intriguing titles in Breillat's catalogue. Narratively, Breillat sets up two separate threads, each in a distinct time frame. A contemporary one finds two sisters, younger Catherine Marilou Lopes-Benites and older Marie-Anne Lola Giovannetti, heading up to their attic, where Catherine reads Perrault's tale aloud to Marie-Anne in a successful bid to frighten her. Meanwhile, in the tale-within-the-tale which actually commences before the contemporary one does the Bluebeard story plays out onscreen in a period context, starring two different teenage characters whose names are slightly transposed versions of those in the contemporary story: younger sister Marie-Catherine Lola Créton and older sister Anne Daphné Baiwir. That story finds the two French adolescents forcibly pulled out of a Catholic school following the self-sacrificial death of their father. They rejoin their mother in a rural hamlet, but must grapple with the constraints of dire poverty, until an invitation arrives to a fete hosted by the notoriously ugly and sinister nobleman Bluebeard Dominique Thomas, a man fabulously wealthy, but so hirsute and physically filthy that he evokes mass revulsion -- and is rumored to have killed off multiple wives. Bluebeard, it seems, is seeking a new marital partner, and the lure of the wealth that would accompany this is too overwhelming for the young women to resist. A short time later, Bluebeard casts his eyes on Marie-Catherine at the event and the two are wed, putting Marie-Catherine's life in grave danger. It can hardly be an accident that the same Catherine Breillat who worked as an assistant director to Bertolucci on Last Tango in Paris would script and direct this curiosity. Like Last Tango, Bluebeard immerses itself in a woman's darkest and most subconscious fantasies -- fantasies about hairy, bullish, rough-hewn men prone to acts of the most brutal sexual violence and domination. As played by Créton, Marie-Catherine seems instinctively drawn to Bluebeard, and not simply for financial reasons -- this fatherless girl responds to him on a deep-seated Freudian level. And yet, at the same time, we witness a fear of crossing over from adolescence into womanhood, articulated both literally when Marie-Catherine refuses to consummate their marriage for several years, and metaphorically, when the young woman defies her husband's order not to venture into a forbidden room during his absence, ends up with heavily symbolic blood on her feet and hands, and earns a death sentence from Bluebeard, who vows that he'll slice her throat open with a cutlass. These elements of the tale are fascinating, as are the interiors of the castle, with its psychologically and sexually labyrinthine corridors. On a psychological level, they suggest tunnels running through the mind and an endless journey into the subconscious, inevitably recalling Olivier's Hamlet. On this note, one of Breillat's best visual jokes involves a multilevel spiral staircase that she films entirely with a single fixed shot, as Marie-Catherine and Bluebeard round the same stretch over and over again. Less successful is the contemporary story. It makes conceptual sense for Breillat to want to throw the period tale into bas-relief, by framing it with a commentary that sets up the story as an extension of the females' imaginings, but the children reading the story are so young several years even from preadolescence that its darker symbolic and thematic underpinnings lack the credibility that they would possess if these girls were slightly older -- especially when the director substitutes the younger of the contemporary girls for Marie-Catherine in the sequence involving the forbidden room and the blood. Moreover, the modern thread suffers for being too cute, too precious. It also leads up to a twist ending that is less than plausible. These represent the film's key weaknesses. The only other weakness is a slight narrative drag near the end of the second act that temporarily weighs the story down. Even though the picture only runs 80 minutes, one senses that Breillat could have told the same story at a slightly more rapid clip. Those reservations notwithstanding, however, the picture still has much to recommend it.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/22/2010
  • UPC: 712267291823
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Strand Home Video
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 33,951

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dominique Thomas Barbe Bleue, Lord Bluebeard
Lola Créton Catherine, Marie-Catherine
Daphne Baiwir Anne, Marie-Anne
Marilou Lopes-Benites Catherine
Lola Giovannetti Marie-Anne
Farida Khelfa Mother Superior
Isabelle Lapouge Mother
Technical Credits
Catherine Breillat Director, Screenwriter
Pascale Chavance Editor
Vilko Filac Cinematographer
Sylvette Frydman Producer
Olivier Jacquet Set Decoration/Design
Jean-Francois Lepetit Producer
Rose-Marie Melka Costumes/Costume Designer
Yves Osmu Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Weill Asst. Director
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bluebeard
1. Changed Conditions [8:11]
2. Dream On [7:14]
3. Love and Hate [8:07]
4. Ugly, But Very Rich [9:16]
5. Afraid of Hidden Evil [10:15]
6. A Dove and an Eagle [8:57]
7. Off on Business [9:16]
8. Solar Eclipse [7:37]
9. Golden Key [6:00]
10. Time To Die [2:48]
11. Two Horsemen [2:45]
12. End Credits [1:18]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Bluebeard
   Play Feature
   Original Theatrical Trailer
   Chapters
   Other Strand Titles
      The Girl On The Train
      Toe To Toe
      The Missing Person
      The Wedding Song
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously