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Brief Crossing (Breve Traversee)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Pratt, Gilles Guillain, Marc Filipi, Laëtitia Lopez, Marc Jablonski
  • Directors: Catherine Breillat
  • Writers: Catherine Breillat
  • Producers: Christophe Valette, Jean-Pierre Guérin, Pierre Eid
  • Format: Color, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXPK2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,104 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brief Crossing (Breve Traversee)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Director interview

Editorial Reviews

What starts as a chance meeting between a 30-something English woman Alice (Sarah Pratt) and a 16 year-old French boy (Gilles Guillan) quickly develops into much more on an overnight ferry ride. As the conversation progresses, it is clear that although the two have virtually nothing in common, the sexual tension is evident. When they finally act on their growing attraction, a surprise twist is thrown in that will leave you wondering who really seduced who.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By James D. Leverton on October 25, 2004
Format: DVD
Controversial French director Catherine Breillat's "Brief Crossing" (2001) is a mesmerizing 80-minute knockout that follows two very different travelers as they meet on an overnight ferry cruise and enter into a steamy one-night affair. The twist here is that the odd couple is a thirtysomething Englishwoman and a 16-year-old French schoolboy.

Breillat was obviously inspired by David Lean's classic "Brief Encounter." However, the similarities end there. As anyone who has seen any of Breillat's previous features (including the [hot] "Romance" and "Fat Girl") will know, the director isn't interested in telling a conventional love story so much as chronicling the psychological fallout of sex. This film is no exception. As Breillat herself says in a revealing interview that accompanies the film, she made the film simply because she wanted to explore the loss of a young male's virginity. In this case, it is young Thomas (Gilles Guillan), who meets Alice (Sarah Pratt) while ordering dinner, then begins a mutual flirtation with the amused woman after she invites him to share a table with her. Over the course of the next hour, they share much revealing conversation, then eventually fall into bed together. What happens next is best left for the viewer to experience.

Obviously the centerpiece of this film is the sexual encounter, and let's just say it is beautifully handled by the director and her two actors. Perhaps because of the tender age of her young star, Breillat doesn't push the envelope as far as she did in "Romance," leaving it up to the viewer to decide just how real the encounter is. (Rest assured, young Guillan was 19 when he made the film, but still a virgin according to the director.) Still, it's an eye-opening moment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ben Shepherd on March 2, 2009
Format: DVD
An engaging character study about a thirty-something English-woman who meets a hot-headed French teenager on a London-bound ship. Over the course of one night, they meet cute, philosophize, fight, and eventually hook up.

Stylistically, this is far different from anything Breillat has done before or since.

In previous films, Breillat was notorious for exploring the sickening depths of human depravity via sexuality ("A Real Young Girl", "Romance" "36 Fillette") and violence ("Perfect Love", "Fat Girl"), and unafraid to show her characters fully nude and to film them in unsimulated sex scenes.

But here, Breillat's perfectly content to let her fully-clothed characters light up a smoke in the ship's dining hall and just chat. On the surface, this may sound like a retread of "Perfect Love", since Breillat had seemingly already explored the older woman/younger man territory.

But whereas Christophe in "Perfect Love" was a petualant brat (and more than likely a closet homosexual), Thomas here is a full-blooded teenager: precocious and intelligent, but also hopelessly naive.

If you're with the characters, you'll follow them all the way to the ship's dock. If you're bored to tears by their chats and with following them around the ship, then this film is not for you.

As usual, Breillat favors character over plot, and unlike most French filmmakers, she has no use for her New Wave predecessors' jazzy pacing and quick jump-cuts. She prefers a stationary camera (that cross-cuts between characters and precious little else) in order to let the scenes breathe and the performances build. Critics have thus complained about Breillat's leisurely pacing making her films artsy at best and downright boring at worst.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ammons on April 29, 2010
Format: DVD
What makes this more than "Very good" is the attention to psychological precision that a lesser film would have left out. Mangled passport, not applauding, and dozens of other such that shows the director understands her characters inside and out to the point that they are indistinguishable from actual people she knows. And on top of that the film generates enough thought and ideas about love and age differences to last months.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By One-Line Film Reviews on February 3, 2010
Format: DVD
The Bottom Line:

Though Brief Crossing is just as concerned with the battle of the sexes as everything else in Ms. Breillat's work, here she seems to be crafting a story rather than attempting to shock viewers with graphic depictions of sexuality; in any event, it's an interesting film about a man and a woman who meet for one night on a ferry (call it the anti-Before Sunrise) with good performances by the two leads, an ending that changes everything that came before it, and yes, a hefty amount of nudity.

3/4
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