Catherine Breillat

Catherine Breillat – Tapage Nocturne AKA Nocturnal Uproar (1979)


A completely routine drama involving sexual situations and rough characters, this story directed and written by Catherine Breillat looks at the liaison between Solange (Dominique Laffin) and Bruno (Bertrand Bonvoisin). Solange is the female version of a womanizing film director who is confident about her conquests and her ability to figure out men. Along comes Bruno, and Solange’s faith in her knowledge of men is put to a test and found wanting. In spite of her better judgment, she is undeniably attracted to Bruno though the man is going to be trouble in a big way. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Read More »

Catherine Breillat – À ma soeur! AKA Fat Girl (2001)


Twelve-year-old Anaïs is fat. Her sister, Elena, is a teenage beauty. While on vacation with their parents, Anaïs tags along with Elena as she explores the dreary seaside town. Elena meets Fernando, an Italian law student, who seduces her with promises of love, and the ever-watchful Anaïs bears witness to the corruption of her sister’s innocence. Precise and uncompromising, Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl is a bold dissection of sibling rivalry and female adolescent sexuality from one of contemporary cinema‘s most controversial directors. Read More »

Catherine Breillat – Barbe Bleue (2009)


Plot : Catherine Breillat puts a new spin on an ancient story in this multi-leveled drama. In France in the mid-1950s, Catherine (Lola Creton) enjoys toying with her younger sister Marie-Anne (Daphne Baiwir) by reading her the story of the murderous and oft-married Bluebeard, embellishing the story with plenty of gore and scaring the child out of her wits. As Catherine rereads the story, we’re taken back to the year 1697, as Lord Bluebeard (Dominique Thomas) prepares to make Marie-Catherine (also played by Creton) his seventh wife. Marie-Catherine’s youth and innocence make her an especially attractive quarry to Bluebeard, and rather than murder her right away, he decides to wait a while in order to savor the terrible joy of claiming her life. However, as Bluebeard becomes caught in a cycle of events that keep him from following through on his wife’s murder, the two slowly become something like a normal couple and Marie-Catherine begins to turn the tables on her spouse. Barbe Bleue (aka Bluebeard) received its world premiere at the 2009 ~Berlin International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Read More »

Catherine Breillat – La belle endormie AKA The Sleeping Beauty (2010)


Catherine Breillat’s bracing explorations of female mythologies find epic resonance in her latest film. The Sleeping Beauty sees the eminent filmmaker working at the height of her powers, something those fortunate enough to have seen her beguiling canon at TIFF Cinematheque this summer have already experienced.
Astonishing landscapes that circumnavigate the globe, and a dizzying mix of historical periods, provide a backdrop for the little girl at the film’s centre. Breillat’s cinematographic eye has rarely been expressed on such a large canvas or with such razor-sharp intent.
Noah Cowan ( Read More »

Catherine Breillat – Anatomie de l’Enfer AKA Anatomy of Hell (2003)


“A lonely and dejected woman (Amira Casar) learns that only when all inhibitions are cast aside will she be able to truly understand the truth about how men see women in this erotically charged exploration of sexuality from controversial director Catherine Breillat. Teetering on the edge of overwhelming ennui, the woman pays a man (Rocco Siffredi) to join her for a daring, four-day exploration of sexuality in which both reject all convention and smash all boundaries while locked away from society in an isolated estate. Only when the man and woman confront the most unspeakable aspects of their sexuality will they have a pure understanding of how the sexes view one another.” Read More »

Catherine Breillat – Sale comme un ange AKA Dirty Like an Angel (1991)


Sale comme un ange is another dark portrayal of human sexuality from Catherine Breillat, her fourth in a series of provocative and unequivocally personal films. What is most striking about this film is its sense of realism and the totally unromantic way in which a romantic liaison is portrayed. By showing a consensual love affair between a young woman and a much older man in a sordid, almost animalistic way, Breillat risks offending the sensibilities of her public, but her boldness works – the end result stands as one of her most haunting and poetic films. Read More »

Catherine Breillat – Sex Is Comedy (2002)


From The New York Times:


Published: October 20, 2004

Thanks to movies like “36 Fillette,” “Romance” and “Fat Girl,” Catherine Breillat has acquired a reputation for both fearlessness and perversity. Her two most recent movies, “Anatomy of Hell” and “Sex Is Comedy,” arriving in New York theaters within a week of each other, will no doubt extend that reputation, though in different ways. The newer movie, “Anatomy of Hell,” which opened last Friday, takes her fascination with female sexuality to a new extreme of literal-minded explicitness. “Sex Is Comedy,” which was completed in 2002 and which opens at Film Forum in Manhattan today, is much less graphic than “Anatomy,” and it is probably Ms. Breillat’s most restrained and self-critical film. There is less nudity and less on-screen sex than in her previous movies, but a good deal more self-exposure. Read More »