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Acknowledgement and Unknown Women : The Films of Catherine Breillat.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/2010
JournalJournal for Cultural Research
Journal number1
Volume14
Number of pages17
Pages85-101
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The films of Catherine Breillat are interpreted here through the lens of acknowledgement, especially insofar as that term is understood by the American philosopher Stanley Cavell. Breillat's films are primarily ones which portray the coming-together (and breaking-apart) of romantic couples. The journeys charted by these couples are ones whose destinations aim for states of mutual acknowledgement. These journeys do not, however, result in happy endings. They do, on the contrary, tend to chart the failure or impossibility of acknowledgement. Ultimately, the failure of acknowledgement is a failure on the part of men to recognize or understand the value of acknowledgement, but the insistent demand for acknowledgement expressed by the female protagonists of Breillat's films points to the centrality of the concept of acknowledgement in her cinematic oeuvre.