Catherine Breillat

Catherine Breillat

  • Highest Rated: 86% 36 Fillette (1987)
  • Lowest Rated: 25% Anatomy of Hell (2004)
  • Birthday: Jul 13, 1948
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Author and filmmaker Catherine Breillat has gained a reputation as one of the most controversial women in contemporary arts and letters for her work, which often focuses on the erotic and emotional lives of young women, as told from the woman's perspective. Born in Bressuire, France, in 1948, Breillat developed a reputation for challenging public mores early on; at the age of 17, she published her first novel, L'homme Facile, which became a cause célèbre for its blunt language and open depiction of sexual subject matter. The controversy generated by L'homme Facile gave Breillat enough recognition that she was able to pursue a career as a writer, and between 1968 and 1975, she published three novels and a stage drama, as well as making her acting debut with a small role in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris. In 1975, Breillat moved behind the camera by writing, designing, and directing Une Vraie Jeune Fille, which was adapted from one of Breillat's novels. An unexploitive but unusually explicit depiction of the sexual obsessions of an adolescent girl, Une Vraie Jeune Fille generated a certain amount of controversy, which would doubtless have been greater had it found wide release at the time -- financial problems on the part of the film's producers prevented it from receiving a proper launch at the time. After writing two more films (one of them, significantly, was Bilitis, a drama about the sexual awakening of teenage girls directed by erotic photographer David Hamilton) and taking on another acting role in the horror spoof Dracula Père et Fils, Breillat directed her second feature, 1979's Tapage Nocturne, which was also based on one of her novels. The story concerned the obsessive sexual desires of one young woman, and her unblinking depiction of the theme resulted in the film receiving a rating that prevented anyone under 18 from seeing the film, generally the kiss of death at the French box office. After directing two films that had garnered plenty of (often hostile) press but very little money, Breillat's career as a director was put on hold. Breillat continued to write screenplays (including Police and Federico Fellini's E La Nave Va), but it wasn't until 1988 that she was in charge of another feature, 36 Fillette. Depicting the burgeoning sexuality of a 14-year-old girl, and a middle-aged man intent on seducing her, 36 Fillette generated the expected storms of controversy, but it also fared well enough at the box office that Breillat was able to make another film only two years later, Sale Comme un Ange. Breillat's real international breakthrough, though, came in 1999; Romance, concerning a schoolteacher whose relationship with her boyfriend has gone sour, leading her into a variety of sexual liaisons with other men, was one of the first films to play mainstream cinemas in Europe and the United States that clearly depicted explicit intercourse and fellatio, and as a result generated no small amount of press attention. Romance also spawned a number of positive reviews and think pieces in major newspapers and magazines, and finally confirmed Breillat's status as a major filmmaker outside her native France. (The success of Romance also resulted in Une Vraie Jeune Fille finally receiving a belated theatrical and home video release in Europe and the United States.) Breillat once again revisited her favorite themes with her usual degree of intelligence but bold honesty with 2001's A Ma Soeur, which concerns two sisters -- one overweight, one attractive -- who are each coming to unhappy terms with their budding sexuality. She continued with other provocative features including 2003's Anatomy of Hell, 2007's The Last Mistress, Bluebeard from 2008, and Sleeping Beauty in 2010.

Highest Rated Movies








85% Abuse of Weakness Screenwriter Director 2014
No Score Yet Zanzibar Screenwriter 2013
74% La belle endormie (The Sleeping Beauty) Director Screenwriter $29.3K 2011
60% Kaboom Actor $0.2M 2011
No Score Yet À propos de Nice, la suite Director 2011
66% Great Directors Actor $18.4K 2010
79% Bluebeard Director Screenwriter 2010
No Score Yet Indie Sex: Censored Actor 2007
76% Une Vieille Maîtresse (The Last Mistress) (An Old Mistress) Director Screenwriter $0.7M 2007
68% Sex Is Comedy Director Screenwriter 2004
25% Anatomy of Hell Voice 2004
73% Fat Girl Director Screenwriter 2001
No Score Yet According to Matthieu Screenwriter 2001
No Score Yet Brève Traversée (Brief Crossing) Screenwriter Director 2001
71% Une Vraie Jeune Fille (A Real Young Girl) (A Real Young Lady) Screenwriter Director 2000
No Score Yet For My Sister Screenwriter Director 2000
50% Romance Screenwriter Director 1999
No Score Yet Perfect Love Director 1996
No Score Yet Sale comme un ange, (Dirty Like an Angel ) Screenwriter Director 1991
86% 36 Fillette Director 1987
No Score Yet Police Screenwriter 1985
80% And the Ship Sails On Screenwriter 1984
No Score Yet Tapage nocturne, (Nocturnal Uproar) Director 1979
No Score Yet Night After Night Director 1979
No Score Yet Dracula and Sons Wife 1976
No Score Yet Catherine et Cie (Catherine & Co.) Screenwriter 1975
84% Last Tango in Paris Mouchette 1972


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