Catherine Breillat

Director, Screenwriter, Author
Dubbed "the bad girl intellectual of French cinema" by Amy Taubin of the Village Voice, writer-director Catherine Breillat seemingly has courted controversy since her career began. While still in her teens, she ... Read more »
Born: 07/12/1948 in France

Filmography

Writer (29)

Abus de Faiblesse 2014 (Movie)

(from book: "Abus de faiblesse") (Source Material)

Abus de Faiblesse 2014 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

The Sleeping Beauty 2011 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bluebeard 2010 (Movie)

adaptation (Screenplay)

The Last Mistress 2008 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

Anatomy of Hell 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Anatomy of Hell 2004 (Movie)

(from novel:"Pornocratie") (Source Material)

Sex is Comedy 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Ma Soeur! 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Une Vraie jeune fille 2001 (Movie)

("La Soupirail") (Source Material (from novel))

Une Vraie jeune fille 2001 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Breve traversee 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Selon Matthieu 2000 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Romance 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Parfait Amour 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

La Thune 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Sale Comme un Ange 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

36 Fillette 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

36 Fillette 1989 (Movie)

(Source Material (from novel))

Zanzibar 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

La Nuit de l'ocean 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Milan Noir 1987 (Movie)

dialogue (Writer (dialogue))

Milan Noir 1987 (Movie)

screenplay adaptation (Screenplay)

Police 1986 (Movie)

(From Story)

Police 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

E la nave Va 1984 (Movie)

(English version) (Screenplay)

Tapage Nocturne 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bilitis 1976 (Movie)

screenplay adaptation (Screenplay)

Catherine et Cie 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (15)

Abus de Faiblesse 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sleeping Beauty 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Bluebeard 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

The Last Mistress 2008 (Movie)

(Director)

Anatomy of Hell 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Sex is Comedy 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

A Ma Soeur! 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Une Vraie jeune fille 2001 (Movie)

(Director)

Breve traversee 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Romance 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

A Propos de Nice, La Suite 1995 (Movie)

("Aux Nicois qui mal y present") (Director)

Parfait Amour 1995 (Movie)

(Director)

Sale Comme un Ange 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

36 Fillette 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Tapage Nocturne 1978 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (7)

Great Directors 2010 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Anatomy of Hell 2004 (Movie)

Voice (Actor)

The Housekeeper 2003 (Movie)

Constance (Actor)

Dracula Pere et Fils 1976 (Movie)

The Count's Wife (Actor)

Last Tango in Paris 1972 (Movie)

Mouchette (Actor)

Indie Sex: Extremes (TV Show)

Actor

Indie Sex: Teens (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

A Ma Soeur! 2001 (Movie)

songs("Moi je m'ennuie" "J'ai mis mon coeur a pourrir") (Song)

Biography

Dubbed "the bad girl intellectual of French cinema" by Amy Taubin of the Village Voice, writer-director Catherine Breillat seemingly has courted controversy since her career began. While still in her teens, she published her first novel, the erotic "L'Homme facile", which was not sold to anyone in France under 18 years of age. Breillat's film acting debut was alongside her sister Marie-Helene in 1973's frank and groundbreaking "Last Tango in Paris", helmed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Her own feature directorial debut based on one of her novels, "Une Vraie jeune fille", was originally shot in 1975 but through a combination of the bankruptcy of her producers and its shocking content that caused it to be banned, the film did not receive a release for 25 years. As with several of her works, "Une Vraie jeune fille" centered on the sexual coming of age of a woman -- here a 14-year-old boarding school student. Over the next decade, Breillat continued to make her mark as both a fiction writer and in films. She penned the story for and contributed to the script of "Police" (1985), a cop drama-cum-romance starring Gerard Depardieu and Sophie Marceau.

EDUCATION

passed bacclaureate degree in 1964

Milestones

2004

Wrote and directed "Sex Is Comedy" about a director struggling with a difficult sex scene between two actors who can't stand each other; inspired by Breillat's own experiences

2001

Helmed the comedy "Brève traversée/Brief Crossing"

2001

Garnered attention and praise for "A mon soeur!/Fat Girl", which centered on a teenager losing her virginity; screened at Berlin

2000

Contributed to the screenplay of "Selon Matthieu/According to Matthew"

1999

Courted controversy with the sexually explicit "Romance", a drama centered on one woman's exploration of her sensual nature

1996

Directed and wrote "Parfait amour!/Perfect Love!", a disturbing examination of a May-December relationship that ends in murder

1991

Wrote and directed "Sale comme un ange/Dirty Like an Angel", about policemen partners, one of whom may be dying

1988

Engendered controversy and divided critics with "36 Fillette", which detailed the sexual coming of age of a chunky teenage girl

1985

Co-scripted and provided the original story for "Police", a well-received romance-cum-cop drama directed by Maurice Pialat

1983

Wrote English-language adaptation of Fellini's "And the Ship Sails On"

1975

First film as screenwriter, "Catherine et Cie/Catherine & Co."

1975

Feature directorial debut, "Une Vraie jeune fille"; also wrote script based on her novel "La Soupirail"

1973

Played Mouchette in "Last Tango in Paris"; sister Marie-Helene Breillat played Monique

Bonus Trivia

.

"A script is only the 'bare bones' of a film, because what matters in the most important moments is silence. Words are there to fill in the most violent exchanges between the characters." --Catherine Breillat quoted in Positif, June 1988.

.

"Women are not simple human beings. They are a lot more complicated than men. In violence, they have no physical strength, but they have incredible mental strength. When a woman becomes free, a liberated woman, what she actually does is free herself of all her alienation. A great tenderness and weakness often coexist in women who are emotional, confused, and fragile. At the same time, they are capable of tremendous violence and aggression in their relationships, in their love life as well, and that includes physical and romantic relationships. Men cannot portray women like that, so it's fairly new to see that in film." --Breillat in an interview in Cineaste, Volume XXV, No. 1.

.

" ... movies are both an industry and an art. Sometimes, the industry moves closer to the art, sometimes the art moves closer to the industry. You can't work in film without butting up against this reality. The only thing I'm against is the idea that a film is simply a replica of what's on the page. The actual shooting of the film seems like a formality, as if creation doesn't take place on the set. Instead, it happens everywhere else--on paper, in the writer's den, in the producer's office, over lunch, whatever, but not on the set. In this view, the filmmaker is something of a pitiful employee who's simply there to obey orders. It's a horrible way of thinking about filmmaking. I try not to believe in the dominance of the screenplay. It makes for very boring cinema." --Breillat quoted at IndieWire.com, September 23, 1999.

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