Catherine Breillat

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Catherine Breillat
Born(1948-07-13) July 13, 1948 (age 65)
Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres, France
Occupationfilm director, novelist
 
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Catherine Breillat
Born(1948-07-13) July 13, 1948 (age 65)
Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres, France
Occupationfilm director, novelist

Catherine Breillat (French: [bʁɛja]; born 13 July 1948) is a French filmmaker, novelist and Professor of Auteur Cinema at the European Graduate School.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Breillat was born in Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres, but grew up in Niort. She decided to become a writer and director at the age of 12 after watching Ingmar Bergman's Gycklarnas afton, believing she had found her "'fictional body'" in Harriet Andersson's character, Anna.[2]

She started her career after studying acting at Yves Furet "Studio d'Entraînement de l'Acteur" in Paris together with her sister, actress Marie-Hélène Breillat (born 2 June 1947) in 1967. At the age of 17, she had her novel, l'Homme facile, (Easy Man) published. The French government banned it for readers under 18 years old. A film based on the novel was made shortly after the publication of the book, but the producer went bankrupt and the distributor Artedis blocked any commercial release of the film for twenty years although it had been given an R rating.[3]

Breillat is known for films focusing on sexuality,[4] intimacy, gender conflict and sibling rivalry. Breillat has been the subject of controversy for her explicit depictions of sexuality and violence. She cast the pornstar Rocco Siffredi in her films Romance (Romance X, 1999) and Anatomie de l’enfer (Anatomy of Hell, 2004). Her novels have been best-sellers.

Her work has been associated with the Cinéma du corps/Cinema of the Body tendency.[5]

In an interview with Senses of Cinema, she described David Cronenberg as another filmmaker she considers to have a similar approach to sexuality in film.

Though Breillat spends most of her time behind the camera, she has been in a handful of movies, making her film debut in 1972 as Mouchette in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris.

Breillat suffered a stroke in 2004.[6]

In 2007, Breillat met notorious conman Christophe Rocancourt, and offered him a leading role in a movie that she was planning to make, based on her own novel Bad Love, and starring Naomi Campbell.[7] Soon after, she gave him 25,000 to write a screenplay titled La vie amoureuse de Christophe Rocancourt ("The Love Life of Christophe Rocancourt"), and over the next year and a half, would give him loans totalling an additional €678,000.[8] In 2009, a book written by Breillat was published, in which she alleged that Rocancourt had taken advantage of her diminished mental capacity, as she was still recovering from her stroke.[9] The book is titled Abus de faiblesse, a French legal term usually translated as "abuse of weakness".[10] In 2012, Rocancourt was convicted of abuse de faiblesse for taking Breillat's money, and sentenced to prison.[8] As of mid-2011, although Breillat had moved on to other projects, she still hoped to film Bad Love, but had not yet been able to find financing to do so.[11] However, somewhat ironically, a film adaptation of Abus de faiblesse, directed by Breillat and starring Isabelle Huppert, began production in 2012, and is expected to be released in 2013.[12][13]

In September 2010, Breillat's second fairy-tale based film, Sleeping Beauty (La belle endormie), opened in the Orizzonti sidebar in the 67th Venice Film Festival.[14]

Filmography[edit]

YearEnglish titleOriginal titleNotes
1976A Real Young GirlUne Vraie Jeune FilleBased on Breillat's novel Le Soupirail. Banned after initial premiere, until 1999.
1979Nocturnal UproarTapage nocturne
1987Milan noirWriter.
1988Virgin / Junior Size 3636 FilletteBased on her novel.
1991Dirty Like an AngelSale comme un ange
1996Perfect LoveParfait amour!
1999RomanceRomance X
2001Fat GirlÀ ma sœur!
2001Brief CrossingBrève traversée
2002Sex Is ComedySex Is Comedy
2004Anatomy of HellAnatomie de l’enferBased on her novel Pornocratie.
2007The Last Mistress (aka An Old Mistress)Une vieille maîtresseBased on the novel by Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (1851). Entered into the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.[15]
2009BluebeardBarbe bleueBased on the tale by Charles Perrault.
2010The Sleeping BeautyLa belle endormieBased on the tale by Charles Perrault.
2013Abuse of WeaknessAbus de faiblesseBased on her book. Stars Isabelle Huppert.

Stage plays[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

About Catherine Breillat

References[edit]

  1. ^ See: Catherine Breillat Faculty Page at European Graduate School. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Emma Wilson, "Deforming femininity: Catherine Breillat's Romance" France on Film: Reflections on Popular French Cinema ed. Lucy Mazdon. London: Wallflower (2001): 146. Romance "is part of a larger and sustained project in Breillat's art to consider, challenge and reinvent female sexuality."
  5. ^ Palmer, Tim, Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema, Wesleyan University Press, 2011.
  6. ^ "Quand Christophe Rocancourt et Catherine Breillat se dechirent" Le Parisien; Thursday July 9, 2009, p. 13
  7. ^ Secher, Benjamin (5 April 2008). "Catherine Breillat: 'All true artists are hated'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b de Mallevoüe, Delphine (18 February 2012). "Christophe Raconcourt sort de prison et prépare un livre". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Groves, Don (9 August 2010). "Breillat's new twist on Sleeping Beauty". SBS. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Roxo, Alexandra (7 July 2011). "A Conversation with Catherine Breillat (THE SLEEPING BEAUTY)". Hammer to Nail. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Kohn, Eric (6 July 2011). "'Sleeping Beauty' Director Catherine Breillat: 'To Be An Artist is To Be Alone.'". Indiewire. SnagFilms. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (12 January 2012). "Breillat to helm 'Abuse de faiblesse'". Variety. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  13. ^ Kolesnikov-Jessop, Sonia (12 December 2012). "Isabelle Huppert Hopes to Work With More Asian Film Directors". ARTINFO. Louise Blouin Media. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Lyman, Eric J., "'La Belle endormie' to premiere at Venice fest", "The Hollywood Reporter", 19 July 2010 [3] Access date: Thursday August 19, 2010.
  15. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Last Mistress". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 

External links[edit]