All True Artists Are Hated: The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat

Psychologically rich, unobtrusively minimalist, at once admirably straightforward and slyly comic.”

J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Catherine Breillat closed out the aughts with a pair of fairytale adaptations. Bluebeard, her faithfully pitch-black take on the perverse Charles Perrault folktale, arrived first (The Sleeping Beauty followed) and cast a haunting spell with its formal austerity and savage lessons on innocence lost. The film, for the most part, treads close to its source: Bluebeard (Dominique Thomas), a lord of great wealth whose many wives have suspiciously vanished, entrusts his newest bride Marie-Catherine (Lola Créton, in her first major role) with the keys to his palace. She may enter any room save one, a taboo too seductive for her not to transgress. Breillat cleverly frames this Eden parable as a storybook read aloud by two child sisters, the youngest blanching at its horrors. Eschewing scenes of sex but not the significance of it—Marie-Catherine’s guarded virginity is a crucial invention—Bluebeard is among the unruly director’s most lucid and accessible achievements.

In French with English subtitles

Breillat has produced her funniest and most immediately pleasurable film to date … Her droll critique of the scourge of patriarchy is refreshingly modern.”

David Jenkins, Time Out
Media

Upcoming in this Series

  • Last Summer 1
  • Last Summer
  • L’été dernier
  • France2023
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 104 DCP
  • NR
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • 36 Fillette 1
  • 36 fillette
  • France1988
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 89 DCP
  • 18A
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Dirty Like An Angel 4
  • Dirty Like an Angel
  • Sale comme un ange
  • France1991
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 105 35mm
  • NR
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Romance X 1
  • Romance
  • Romance X
  • France1999
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 99 DCP
  • R
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Perfect Love 1
  • Perfect Love
  • Parfait amour!
  • France1996
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 115 DCP
  • NR
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Fat Girl 1
  • Fat Girl
  • À ma soeur!
  • France/Italy2001
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 86 DCP
  • R
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Anatomy Of Hell 2
  • Anatomy of Hell
  • Anatomie de l’enfer
  • France/Portugal2004
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 77 DCP
  • R
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Sex Is Comedy 3
  • Sex Is Comedy
  • France/Portugal2002
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 95 DCP
  • 18A
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Last Mistress 4
  • The Last Mistress
  • Une vieille maîtresse
  • France/Italy2007
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 115 35mm
  • 18A
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Bluebeard 1
  • Bluebeard
  • Barbe Bleue
  • France2009
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 80 DCP
  • 14A
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Sleeping Beauty 2
  • The Sleeping Beauty
  • La belle endormie
  • France2010
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 82 DCP
  • PG
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat
  • Abuse Of Weakness 1
  • Abuse of Weakness
  • Abus de faiblesse
  • France2013
  • Catherine Breillat
  • 105 DCP
  • PG
  • The Transgressions of Catherine Breillat