Catherine Breillat, return of a bruised filmmaker to Cannes

The director returns to the Croisette after seventeen years to present her new film Last summerthe story of a lawyer who puts her life in danger by having an affair with her teenage stepson.

It is sometimes considered sulphurous, even obscene. Hemiplegic after a stroke, ruined by ” the star scammer » Christophe Rocancourt, Catherine Breillat claims, she, the transgression by filming the desire, the sex and the violence in love.

seventeen years later An old mistressthe filmmaker returns to Cannes on Thursday with Last summer, the story of a lawyer who puts her life and her family in danger by having an affair with her teenage stepson. She hasn’t made a movie since. Abuse of weakness (2013), with Isabelle Huppert and Kool Shen, adaptation of her autobiographical novel on “ the Rocancourt affair “.

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Half-corpse »

I took blows, often. Hemiplegia has made me half a corpse. But of all the things that happened to me, Christophe Rocancourt was the worst “, she writes in this book. A humiliation that she tells openly in her interviews, with this energy of life that has remained intact and always also this nervous and almost childish, even annoying little laugh.

When she meets him, she knows of course that he has already been in prison in the United States for fraud. She spotted him on TV for a future movie and thinks she’s stronger than him. But she in turn falls into the trap and is fleeced. ” It takes place before your eyes and with your complicity “, she says. She the carnivore, always mistress of her life, still does not explain this grip which cost her more than 700,000 euros.

Or rather if. When she was at her worst, he was there… “and rolled up” like a creeper » on his disarticulated body, stricken with hemiplegia and epileptic seizures since a stroke in 2005. And the one she now calls « Rat face will be sentenced to eight months in prison for abuse of weakness.

Daughter of a doctor born on July 13, 1948 in Bressuire (Deux-Sèvres), she grew up in Niort with a sister a year older than her, Marie-Hélène, who would become an actress. With her baccalaureate at 16, she moved to Paris with her sister, enrolling in Oriental Languages. She dreams of writing and making movies. She will do both. His first novel, at 17, The easy manis prohibited for those under 18, because ” It was a bit ographic for the time “.

After playing a small role with her sister in The Last Tango in Paris (1972), by Bertolucci, she wrote a new novel which she immediately adapted for the cinema. A real girlwhich includes scenes deemed ographic again, will not be released until 20 years later.

She shocks again with Nocturnal noise (1979), banned for under 18s and critically acclaimed. ” I saw the hate against me “, she will say. She then began to write scripts for others: Federico Fellini (And sail the ship…) and Maurice Pialat (Police) notably.

Rocco Siffredi

She returns behind the camera and finally finds success with Perfect love! (1996) then Romance (1999) and Anatomy of Hell (2004), where she recruits the international stallion, Rocco Siffredi. Works preceded by a scent of scandal and a somewhat touted image of films ” hard “.

Some extol the audacity of his vision of female ity and carnal confrontation, others consider sex according to Breillat talkative and frigid. The filmmaker refuses labels and prefers to say that she likes to break taboos and ” revolutionize old aesthetic codes “.

In TV programs, I sometimes read that my films were clified in the “erotic” category. I do the opposite of eroticism! My films are cold, they are really disturbing “, she mocks. In the middle of #MeToo, the claimed feminist clashes, judging ” too easy to complain anonymously », « especially since France has still known a lot about “Balance your Jew”… »

Always this taste for provocation for this brunette with blue eyes, mother of three children. ” I find that the world is not beautiful enough, so I slaughter it she smiles.

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