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WATCH: Unsettling First Clip from Catherine Breillat's 'Abuse of Weakness,' Starring Isabelle Huppert

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! September 10, 2013 at 1:53PM

Check out the first clip from French auteur Catherine Breillat's new film "Abuse of Weakness," starring Isabelle Huppert as the director herself.
Abuse of Weakness

Catherine Breillat and Isabelle Huppert, two French masters of directing and acting, respectively, unite in Breillat's new film "Abuse of Weakness," adapted from her autobiographical novel of the same name.

In this awkwardly titled film, Huppert plays a stroke-afflicted director -- i.e., Breillat herself -- who casts a manipulative con man named Vilko (Kool Sheen) to unfortunate results. In the clip below, Huppert's Maud offers the criminal the leading role in her new film and he consents, but not without a few mysterious terms. As in any Breillat film, this brief encounter thrums with disquiet and dread.

An always challenging writer and director of extreme French cinema, Breillat has shaken audiences to the core with the darkly beautiful coming-of-age film "Fat Girl" (2001), the claustrophobic and sexually explicit "Anatomy of Hell" (2004) and her recent Freudian fables "Bluebeard" (2009) and "The Sleeping Beauty" (2010). Looking back on her slate of austere, hyper-literate films, it's clear that the exquisitely icy Huppert, ever-ready to bare all emotionally, is a perfect fit for Breillat.

"Abuse of Weakness" played TIFF this month and will move on to the New York Film Festival in October.

This article is related to: Catherine Breillat, Catherine Breillat, Isabelle Huppert, Clips, Video, Abuse Of Weakness

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.