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TIFF interview: Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin

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Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin
Directed by Renée Beaulieu, Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin, is an examination of the portrayal of female sexuality in film. Photo courtesy GAT PR

In Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin (Les salopes ou le sucre naturel de la peau in French), Marie-Claire (Brigitte Poupart) is a happily-married dermatological researcher and mother of two. Studying the role of the skin in sexuality, Marie-Claire seeks to determine whether skin reacts differently to pleasure from someone they love compared to someone they don’t – but in researching the differences she finds herself in trouble personally and professionally.

“I’ve had this idea a long time. I wrote the first draft of the script in 2011, when I (was working) on my PhD,” said director Renée Beaulieu. “My research for my thesis was on the representation of women and men in Quebec cinema. So I studied how the women were represented and how the men are represented.”

Beaulieu said she found that women are largely portrayed in film as being more conservative, more abstinent and more dependent on men. Les Salopes is Beaulieu’s effort in portraying modern women in a more realistic way, one where women “are more independent and more emancipated, more able to experience sexuality for pleasure.”

“When you talk about the sexuality of women, you very seldom think about pleasure and desire. I think it’s time to give the woman her pleasure,” Beaulieu said. “With the man, there’s no problem. But with the woman, if you love sex you are obedient or a nymphomaniac. In real life, women love sexuality, exactly like men. And the women are not more naturally faithful than men.”

In that way, Beaulieu said she hoped Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin would provoke conversation surrounding the sexuality of women in a positive, adult way, including surrounding the traditional concept of faithfulness in a relationship.

“I think our whole society is based on the idea that love comes with faithfulness. There’s something in our minds that if you are in love, you are faithful,” she said. “But I think that love and sexuality are very different. Almost all people know that, but our society is based on this false idea. You can be faithful, but not by love, by commitment, and it’s very different.”

Beaulieu said having someone like Poupart play the role of Marie-Claire was “absolutely essential” considering the demands of the role, both physically and emotionally.

“There is a lot of sexuality, and the physical part almost all of the time naked and they have a lot of sexual relations. So I needed a good actor, a dedicated actress to be able to do that. And she’s very generous and very good in this movie,” Beaulieu said. “Also, I wanted to give the lead to someone older than the woman we see naked in the movie. In the movie she’s 45, but in real life she’s a bit older than that. She’s very human and beautiful. She gives a great performance.”

In Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin, Brigitte Poupart plays Marie-Claire, a researcher determining whether skin reacts differently to sexual situations involving different individuals. Photo courtesy GAT PR

In Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin, Brigitte Poupart plays Marie-Claire, a researcher determining whether skin reacts differently to sexual situations involving different individuals. Photo courtesy GAT PR

Beaulieu said she hoped Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin‘s screening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) would help to change the mentality about the sexuality of women.

“I want to change the mentality in the industry of cinema too, because not enough women are lead roles and not enough women are directors,” she said. “All my goals are, in a way, to change mentalities about women. I work for the woman. I want more women to be more than a secretary. I want equality and it’s a feminist movie.”

Les Salopes, or the Naturally Wanton Pleasure of Skin, plays Sept. 7, 8, 9 and 13 at the Toronto International Film Festival. For more information on screenings, click here.

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Schitt’s Creek to conclude after next season

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The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.
The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will conclude with its sixth and final season, star and co-creator Dan Levy announced in a statement today. Photo courtesy CBC.

The popular CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek will end at the conclusion of its sixth season, series co-creator and star Dan Levy announced March 21.

“We are so grateful to have been given the time and creative freedom to tell this story in its totality, concluding with a final chapter that we had envisioned from the very beginning,” Levy said in a statement. “It’s not lost on us what a rare privilege it is in this industry to get to decide when your show should take its final bow.”

Schitt’s Creek premiered on CBC in 2015, becoming one of the network’s most successful half-hour comedies ever. The show follows the fish-out-of-water Rose family, forced to assimilate into a small town after they lose their family fortune.

Though the show’s first season received mixed reviews, it grew in regard with both fans and critics over subsequent iterations. Schitt’s Creek’s fifth season, which premiered on January 8, 2019, scored a 100 per cent “Fresh” ranking on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

The show is also among select company among Canadian sitcoms, drawing strong viewership in the United States and elsewhere thanks to distribution on Netflix and the American Pop network. Critics have reacted favourably to recent episodes, with TV Guide’s Megan Vick writing that each season of Schitt’s Creek has “gotten better and better.”

Read Levy’s full statement below.

New episodes of Schitt’s Creek air Tuesday nights at 9/9:30 NT on CBC.

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Watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short “Animal Behaviour”

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The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB
The National Film Board of Canada is offering Canadians the opportunity to watch the Oscar-nominated Canadian short film "Animal Behaviour" until the end of today. Photo courtesy NFB

To get prepped for the 91st Academy Awards, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is offering Canadians the chance to check out Animal Behaviour, nominated tonight in the Best Animated Short Film category.

Animal Behaviour is a new short from Alison Snowden and David Fine, who previously won an Oscar in 1994 for Bob’s Birthday. The short is the 75th Oscar nomination for the NFB, and the first short film for Snowden and Fine since Bob’s Birthday. The 91st Oscars air tonight at 8 Eastern on ABC and CTV.

Watch Animal Behaviour below (expires tonight).

Next up on The Mutt: Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp future in doubt as Season 4 delayed

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Wynonna Earp Season 3 Episode 11/12 - "Daddy Lessons/War Paint". Photo courtesy Bell Media
Wynonna Earp Season 4 is in jeopardy, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, due to financial difficulties. Photo courtesy Space

All of a sudden, Wynonna Earp is in Purgatory.

Earpers were stunned Thursday night when executive producer and showrunner Emily Andras posted (and subsequently deleted) a tweet suggesting that fans of the show may soon have to fight for it. Another tweet, posted shortly later, took a decidedly more straight-forward approach.

Andras appeared to be responding to the news that funding for the fourth season of Wynonna Earp appeared to be on shaky ground, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. According to THR, financial challenges faced by IDW Entertainment have stalled production on Season 4, despite the company being contractually obligated to deliver the show to Syfy.

In response to the news, Earpers took to Twitter with the hashtag #FightForWynonna, which at the time of publication was one of the top Twitter trends in Canada. Though Season 4 has yet to be officially cancelled, IDW has yet to commit to a start date for the new season.

“IDW is committed to continuing to tell the Wynonna Earp story,” the company said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Much like the fans, we are passionate about not only the series, but the comics, the characters and the overall message that the Wynonna Earp franchise carries. We are in the process of working out the details for how the Wynonna story will continue and will share new details very soon.”

Our resident Earper, Ghezal Amiri, was a big fan of Season 3, writing that the show’s season finale, entitled “War Paint”, was a “wildly emotional conclusion.” Read her recap here.

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