(aka "The Last Mistress" or "An Old Mistress")


directed by Catherine Breillat
France | Italy 2007


French director and provocatrice extraordinaire Catherine Breillat is finally tamed by a partially stilted adaptation of an early 19th century literary classic in Une vieille maîtresse. Asia Argento stars in the title role of Spanish courtesan who imperils the happiness of a young married couple, though it is model-turned-actor Fu'ad Aït Aattou as the married man and her doomed former lover who steals the show -- and not only because he has the biggest lips this side of Angelina Jolie. To further pile on the unusual qualities of a costume drama by the director of A ma soeur (Fat Girl) and Sex is Comedy, Breillat regular Roxane Mesquida (the promiscuous sister from A ma soeur) is cast here as the beatific virgin married to Aattou.

Based on the novel by Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, Une vieille maîtresse tells the story of a 30-year-old libertine called Ryno de Marigny (Aattou) who is set to marry the beautiful and pure aristocratic child Hermangarde (Mesquida). Before marrying her, Ryno tells her curious grandmother the Marquise de Flers (French entertainment journalist Claude Sarraute) how he has been under the spell of La Vellini (Argento), an Andalusian courtesan, for ten years but that he has put a stop to it on the night before arriving at the marquise.

Excerpt of review from European-films.net located HERE


Theatrical Release: France 25 May 2007 (Cannes Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Per-Olof Strandberg for the Review!

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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:49:37 (4% PAL speedup)

1:1.85 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:1.85

Edition Details:
• Interview with Catherine Breillat (24:10)
• Deleted scenes (4:47)
• Trailer (1:25)
• Trailer reel (California Dreamin', You, The Living, L'Avocat de La Terreur)
• DVD-9

DVD Release Date: Aug 25th, 2008
Transparent keep-case

Chapters 12



The Artificial Eye DVD of THE LAST MISTRESS is anamorphically enhanced in the 1:1.85 OAR, on a dual layered disc (Occupying 6.5 GB disc space). It's coded for region 2 in the PAL standard. The film starts with the STUDIO CANAL logo, so we assume it is the source for the master tape.

The transfer is strong, and probably the best it can look on SD. On the extra material Catherine Breillat explains, that she wanted strong red, white and black colors in the film (inspired from the French Baroque Era Painter Georges de La Tour). Mostly because of that, there are some instances were the black color is very abrupt, almost appearing out of place. Mostly because of the chosen style, there are images where the background's has heavy noise (it feels more like digital noise than film grain). When all the outdoor images and close up' of faces are razor sharp, it's obvious that some of the softer images are intended (it's also explained in the interview).


There are two flawless soundtracks (DD 5.1, and DD 2.0).

Supplements include an interview with the director. She focuses mainly on the choice of the actors in the film. There are also a few deleted scenes, with a commentary by the director.

 - Per-Olof Strandberg


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Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL



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