L'Araignée de Satin

In synopsis, this sounds like mainstream porn. The setting is Les Fauvettes School for Girls just after WWI, where sternly Teutonic headmistress Caven vies with Jourdan, a morphine addicted, fabric fetishist gym teacher, for the sexual favours of liquid eyed nymphet Scyluna. Meanwhile the chaplain conducts a nude exorcism and for a midnight treat the school repairs en masse to an island in the lake for sandwiches, a sing song and a lesbian orgy. But the credits - Catherine Breillat co-adapting an obscure 1921 play (Les Détraquées by Palau and Thiery) - suggests a more substantial project. And indeed, what is intermittently evoked is a dismal world of cemeteries, snapshots of the dead, unassuagable grief - though why the the goings-on at Les Fauvettes should be the vehicle for this evocation is far from clear, except in the light of Jacques Baratier's determination to be as peculiar as possible.

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jacques Baratier
Screenwriter: Jacques Baratier, Catherine Breillat, Christian Watton
Cast: Ingrid Caven
Catherine Jourdan
Daniel Mesguich
Alexandra Scyluna
Roland Topor
Fanny Bastien
Jacques Baratier