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Anatomy Of Hell

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Winner Best Film Philadelphia International Film Festival

Over four nights in a house in the middle of nowhere, a woman on the verge pays a handsome stranger to watch her "where she's unwatchable." Flouting all conventions and breading all boundaries, the two enter into a stunning and daring exploration of sexuality at its most fundamental. Confronting the unspeakable, discovering the unshowable, and sharing the unsharable, they learn the real secrets of how men truly see women, and how women truly see themselves.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006IIPYE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,872 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Anatomy Of Hell" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Margaux Paschke VINE VOICE on October 12, 2006
Format: DVD
The film is very thought provoking and doesn't mind pushing buttons or boundaries to achieve this end. Although I agree with another reviewer's (Dexter Tay) assessment that this film certainly pertains to Sartre's "Hell is the Other" view, I do not believe this film is more arthouse porn then art. I find it very interesting that the reviews are fairly divided between the sexes. Females seem to rave about this movie and males seem to find things wrong. Hmmmm.

This film is basically two characters, one female and one male (names aren't used because they don't matter - they are ourselves) who are complete strangers and come together to discuss the real view they have of the "Other" as well as themselves. The setting is very bare as there is no need for props - it is the inter-relationship that is front and center and no diversions are allowed. So even though there are several graphic scenes, be prepared for much more dialogue and philosophical discussions between man and woman then actual sexual content. Two scenes stand out from all others: (1) when the women opines on the ridiculousness of the sanitary outer covering of a tampon to prevent intimacy. The very act by its nature is intimate. Why are men and women horrified by menstruation? This topic is delved into with such honesty that the viewer automatically shies away; and (2) when the man complains to another about the way the woman let him debase her and with every humiliation, asked for more. All the while he is disgusted by her, he is haunted by his own actions.

The whole movie makes compelling comments about us as men and women. Catherine Breillat (director) presents a piece of work (based on her novel entitled, "Pornocrate") that forces the viewer to confront issues buried by morality or social conventions. I applaud her brilliant effort.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amateur curmudgeon VINE VOICE on March 24, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is, to me, Breillat's best movie. The subject matter of the movie has been delved in by others, so I won't waste time on it.
A generic woman finds a gay man, to observe her and explore the perception that men have of women. During the course of four nights, the perception is dissected, and examined. The woman expresses, nude, before this male that is not attracted to her, her deepest concepts of the battle of the sexes. He in turn, although by definition not attracted to women, observes, comments and indulges. In the end, as in most of Breillat's movies, the questions are left for the viewer to answer, and also to ask.
The actress, Amira Casar is a beauty, and we see a lot of her. The acting is tightly done, and if appears stilted, it is because the situation is in itself stilted.
You will need a stong stomach to watch the whole movie, since there is a particularly revolting scene, but even that scene, fits with the story, and with the desire of the woman to be totally exposed, totally vulnerable and totally degraded.
I have watched some of Breillat's work (A real young girl, Romance) and to me, this is the deepest, most thought provoking of her movies. As opposed to the previously mentioned ones, that I watched once and resold, or gave away, I shall keep this one, and will probably watch it again, more than once, to dissect it further.
The DVD has an interview with the director, and there we find out why a body double was used for the close-up shots: She wanted a hairy person
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61 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Archmaker VINE VOICE on March 7, 2006
Format: DVD
Do you know what you get when you combine porn with art? Lousy porn and even lousier art. Curiosity and some rapturous reviews brought me to Catherine Breillart's films, which I find so dismal I usually wouldn't bother to write about them. But I find the intellectual acrobatics involved in elevating this type of fetishistic dreck into something someone finds profound most interesting and symptomatic of the exhaustion of both the art and the intellectualism that explains it.

Breillart's claim to fame is this marriage of full frontal, hard core porn with her particular intellectual conceits. Here we have another demented Frenchwoman working out her "issues" while having her own very special vagina monologues with a gay man as the camera practically inserts itself in every orifice. Wonderful.

I suppose everything worth doing has been done in art. That is the only explanation for this bankrupt and disheartening work. It isn't that anything is taboo or that the subject matter is off-limits. The male/female dichotomy and sexual relations have always been the subject of art. It is in the execution. The films I've seen so far just aren't very good.

The use of shocking and graphic images here is not insightful, nor does it represent anything revolutionary. They make no statement. They don't breathe life into film, they breathe decay and decline. This is the art of exhaustion and despair. This is the graphic image for its own sake.

Breillart represents nothing more than the celebration of the mediocre. The elevation of mundane rubbish to supposed high art. The never ending contest to out-sensationalize. You could throw a fistful of crap against a wall, and someone would consider it brilliant.
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