Waiting to become an adult

Kim Gordon on Catherine Breillat’s fairy-tale films, The Last Mistress, Samuel Kircher and Léa Drucker in Last Summer

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Kim Gordon singing (with Madi Vogt on drums, Camila Charlesworth on bass/electronics, and Sarah Register on guitar) at the Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage concert in Central Park
Kim Gordon singing (with Madi Vogt on drums, Camila Charlesworth on bass/electronics, and Sarah Register on guitar) at the Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage concert in Central Park
Kim Gordon with Ed Bahlman and Anne-Katrin Titze on the puppy-ness of Samuel Kircher in Last Summer: “He is great. Yeah, puppy-ish.”
Kim Gordon with Ed Bahlman and Anne-Katrin Titze on the puppy-ness of Samuel Kircher in Last Summer: “He is great. Yeah, puppy-ish.”
Kim Gordon, who is currently on her Collective worldwide tour, will be performing in London on June 25 at Koko, June 26 at the O2 Institute Birmingham, and June 30 at the Glastonbury Festival. In Berlin she has a sold-out show at the Festsaal Kreuzberg on July 6 with Gudrun Gut opening (through some assistance from music producer and 99 Records founder Ed Bahlman).

In the second instalment with Kim Gordon we touch upon Catherine Breillat’s fairy-tale films Bluebeard (Barbe Bleue, inspired by Charles Perrault), and The Sleeping Beauty (La Belle Endormie, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and Perrault), plus the humour in The Last Mistress (Une vieille maîtresse - Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly), and Samuel Kircher and Léa Drucker’s dangerous dynamic in Breillat’s Last Summer (L’été dernier, written in collaboration with Pascal Bonitzer), based on May el-Toukhy’s Queen of Hearts (Dronningen, starring Trine Dyrholm).

Film at Lincoln Center’s Carnal Knowledge: The Films of Catherine Breillat retrospective will be screening New 4K Restorations of A Real Young Girl (Une vraie jeune fille), 36 Fillette, and Perfect Love (Parfait amour!), plus Nocturnal Uproar (Tapage nocturne); Dirty Like An Angel (Sale comme un ange); Romance; Brief Crossing (Brève traversée); Sex Is Comedy; Anatomy Of Hell (Anatomie de l’enfer); Abuse of Weakness (Abus de faiblesse); The Last Mistress; Bluebeard, and The Sleeping Beauty.

Kim Gordon commands the stage
Kim Gordon commands the stage Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
In addition there will be a sneak preview screening of Last Summer on June 26 at 6pm followed by a Q&A with Catherine Breillat and one following Fat Girl (À ma soeur!) at 9pm at the Walter Reade Theater.

This past Thursday, June 13, Kim Gordon had a Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage free concert in Central Park, with Sun Ra Arkestra and Slauson Malone 1, kicking off the Subaru Music Series.

Kim’s The Collective world tour, after the UK, takes her to Prague, Czech Republic; Gdynia, Poland; Roskilde, Denmark; Berlin, Germany, then on to Australia for shows in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Northcote; Niigata, Japan; Yeonsu-Gu, South Korea; Vancouver, British Columbia; Oregon, Washington, California and Arizona; Budapest, Hungary; Milan, Italy; Bern, Switzerland; Munich, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Malmö and Johanneshov, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Göteborg, Sweden; Utrecht, Netherlands; Ciutat Vella, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal.

From Los Angeles, Kim Gordon joined us on Zoom for an in-depth conversation on Catherine Breillat and Last Summer.

Anne-Katrin Titze: Samuel Kircher is fantastic in Last Summer. With his mouth always open. The bravado comes with a puppy-ness.

Kim Gordon: He is great. Yeah, puppy-ish.

AKT: Your Tripping song [with Bill Nace as Body/Head] comes back in the end credits, together with Léo Ferré’s Vingt Ans. Which speaks about being eternally twenty and in Catherine’s films, age is always working differently.

KG: It’s funny together with the other song. I was surprised that she put it in at the end. She told me she was going to use that other song, the French song.

AKT: Nobody is ever just one age in Catherine Breillat films, it seems.

KG: Right, that’s true.

Théo (Samuel Kircher) with Anne (Léa Drucker) in Last Summer
Théo (Samuel Kircher) with Anne (Léa Drucker) in Last Summer
AKT: There’s always at least two or three ages. Her films make you think about that. And it’s true in life, I don’t know how old I am right now.

KG: I know, I always feel like I’m waiting to become an adult.

AKT: Yeah, it’s not there yet.

KG: It’s not going to happen. Then I look in the mirror and it’s like, who is that?

AKT: Sometime maybe it’s going to happen. Had you seen the Danish film with Trine Dyrholm that Last Summer is based on?

KG: No, but I actually meant to watch that. What’s the title?

AKT: Queen of Hearts.

KG: That’s right, I’m going to watch that.

AKT: It’s quite different although it’s the same story.

Sun Ra and His Arkestra at SummerStage
Sun Ra and His Arkestra at SummerStage Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Ed Bahlman: Last Summer is far more dangerous for Léa Drucker, the wife, than it is in Queen of Hearts. Taking far more risks with her behaviour. Saying she’s going for a walk, or when he has his colleagues over and she disappears - a really dangerous film.

KG: Oh yeah, and she goes to a bar with him!

EB: Exactly. In a small town!

KG: Also the whole riding on the motorcycle, or the bike.

EB: The scooter! I thought how could she get on that?

KG: The scooter, right.

AKT: And the trampoline scene! How is Catherine’s insurance, you wonder. Apropos, did you see her Abuse of Weakness?

KG: I haven’t seen that one actually. I want to watch it.

SummerStage poster
SummerStage poster
AKT: And her fairy-tale films, Bluebeard [Barbe Bleue, inspired by Charles Perrault] and Sleeping Beauty [La Belle Endormie, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault]?

KG: Yeah, I’ve seen both the fairy-tale films. I really liked The Last Mistress [Une vieille maîtresse - Jules-Amédée, Barbey d'Aurevilly] as well. I thought it was so funny.

AKT: Her wicked sense of humor!

  • Read what Kim Gordon had to say on the music in Last Summer with Ed Bahlman, her initial encounters with Catherine Breillat films, working with French choreographer Dimitri Chamblas, some favorite films of 2023, our shared love for The Curse (starring Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder, Benny Safdie) and a trip to New York City to shoot a video for her latest album, The Collective.
  • Film at Lincoln Center’s Carnal Knowledge: The Films of Catherine Breillat retrospective runs from Friday, June 21 through through Thursday, June 27.
  • Last Summer opens at the Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Enter in New York on Friday, June 28.

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