Profile of a Filmmaker

Catherine Breillat
  • Anne Gillain


Catherine Breillat long ago sailed safely around the treacherous cape of the second film, upon whose shoals numerous female directors in France have foundered in recent years. With an impressive bibliography of films to her credit (besides being a novelist, she has authored eight films and is the coscriptwriter of nine others), Catherine Breillat is a highly gifted filmmaker whose work is a milestone in the expression of the feminine in film. In this respect, she personifies the Francophone exception: it is well known that female cinematographic creation has flourished in the last ten years in France, Quebec, and Belgium. Let us recall some statistics. Of the some 20,000 filmmakers worldwide, only 600 are women, a figure that translates to 3 percent of the international film industry In spite of these statistics, there are currently in France as many first films made by women as by men. Several box-office hits like Colline Serreau’s Trois hommes et un couffin, Sandrine Veysset’s Y aura t’il de la neige à Noël?, Tonie Marshall’s Vénus Beauté (institut), and Agnès Jaoui’s Le goût des autres have encouraged producers to support films made by female directors. In fact, it can now be considered a well-established tradition. In the past year, however, feminine expression in film has taken a new direction, and Catherine Breillat has played a significant role in this evolution.


Female Director Physical Pleasure Distended Vagina Male Sexual Organ Male Desire 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Work Cited

  1. Breillat, Catherine. “Le cinéma grand et cru.” Elle, February 2000.Google Scholar
  2. Breillat, Catherine, and Claire Denis, Cahiers du cinéma 534, April 1999.Google Scholar
  3. Burch, Noël. “Colère des femmes/Flegme des hommes,” Tausend Augen 21, January–March 2001.Google Scholar
  4. Ernaux, Annie, “Entretien avec Michèle Manceaux,” Marie-Claire, May 2000.Google Scholar
  5. Mandy Marie. Filmer le désir, documentary film, Arte 2000.Google Scholar
  6. Nizan, Jean-Marie. Femme et cinéaste, documentary film, Arte 2000.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger Célestin, Eliane DalMolin, Isabelle de Courtivron 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Gillain

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations