I should say that this is not wholesome holiday fare. Julia Leigh‘s SLEEPING BEAUTY is a sort of Australian feminist manifestation of a genre that I associate with French directors such as Catherine Breillat (who has directed a film of the same title) and Jean-Claude Brisseau, which dissects non-normative or perverse sexual behavior in a way that is both titillating and clinical. What makes this film distinctive is the way in which it plays upon the mystery of the cinematic image, creating a ghost, or a phantom, of the act, reifying it in the memory, even if it is an act that we ourselves did not experience, see, or have the ability to recall on our own. The final sequence is of a memory that the leading character brings upon herself, that she could never have brought to mind without the realties of the camera, and with which we too are left, and haunted.

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