The School of Flesh

(L'École de la chair, Benoît Jacquot, France, 1998)


The School of Flesh, adapted from a Yukio Mishima novel, is a magnificent showcase for a great actress.

Isabelle Huppert plays a woman who finds herself drawn into a difficult but intense relationship with a much younger man (Olivier Martinez).

Director Benoît Jacquot, whose fascinating oeuvre is sadly little-known beyond Europe, draws upon yet a rich tradition in French cinema: the minimalistic, emotionally heightened chamber dramas of Cocteau, Duras and Bresson.

The film is a masterly exercise in transforming familiar material into something strange and new.

MORE Jacquot: tout de suite, 3 Hearts

© Adrian Martin March 1999

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search