Jean-Pierre Jeunet

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet
JP Jeunet.jpg
Jeunet in 2009
Born (1953-09-03) 3 September 1953 (age 68)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film producer, television director
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Liza Sullivan

Jean-Pierre Jeunet (French:  [ʒɑ̃ pjɛʁ ʒœnɛ] ; born 3 September 1953) is a French film director, producer and screenwriter. His films combine fantasy, realism and science fiction to create idealized realities or to give relevance to mundane situations.

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Debuting as a director with the acclaimed 1991 black comedy Delicatessen, with collaborator Marc Caro, Jeunet went to collaborate with Caro once again with The City of Lost Children (1995). His work with science fiction and horror led Jeunet to become the fourth director to helm the Alien film series with Alien Resurrection (1997), his first and only experience with an American film. In 2001, he achieved his biggest success with the release of Amélie , gaining international acclaim and reaching BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century. [1]

Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important directors in modern French cinema, his critical and commercial success earned him two Academy Award nominations.

Life and career

Jean-Pierre Jeunet was born in Roanne, France. He bought his first camera at the age of 17 and made short films while studying animation at Cinémation Studios. He befriended Marc Caro, a designer and comic book artist who became his longtime collaborator and co-director. They met at an animation festival in Annecy in the 1970s. [2]

Together, Jeunet and Caro directed award-winning animations. Their first live action film was The Bunker of the Last Gunshots (1981), a short film about soldiers in a bleak futuristic world. Jeunet also directed numerous advertisements and music videos, such as Jean Michel Jarre's "Zoolook" (together with Caro).[ citation needed ]

Jeunet's films often resonate with the late twentieth-century French film movement cinéma du look and allude to themes and aesthetics involving German expressionism, French poetic realism, and the French New Wave. [2]

Jeunet and Caro's first feature film was Delicatessen (1991), a melancholy comedy set in a famine-plagued post-apocalyptic world, in which an apartment building above a delicatessen is ruled by a butcher who kills people in order to feed his tenants. [3]

They next made The City of Lost Children (1995), a dark, multi-layered fantasy film about a mad scientist who steals children's dreams so that he can live indefinitely. [4] The success of The City of Lost Children led to an invitation to direct the fourth film in the Alien series, Alien Resurrection (1997). [5] This is where Jeunet and Caro ended up going their separate ways as Jeunet believed this to be an amazing opportunity and Caro was not interested in a film that lacked creative control working on a big-budget Hollywood movie. Caro ended up assisting for a few weeks, with costumes and set design but afterwards, decided to work on a solo career in illustration and computer graphics. [2]

Jeunet directed Amélie (2001), the story of a woman who takes pleasure in doing good deeds but has trouble finding love herself, which starred Audrey Tautou. [6] Amélie was a huge critical and commercial success worldwide and was nominated for several Academy Awards. For his work on the film, Jeunet won a European Film Award for Best Director.[ citation needed ]

In 2004, Jeunet released A Very Long Engagement , an adaptation of the novel by Sébastien Japrisot. The film, starring Audrey Tautou and Jodie Foster, chronicled a woman's search for her missing lover after World War I. [7]

In 2009, he released Micmacs [8] which is about a man and his friends who come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers. [9]

Jeunet has also directed numerous commercials including a 2'25" film for Chanel N° 5 featuring his frequent collaborator Audrey Tautou.[ citation needed ]

In 2013, Jeunet released The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet an adaptation of Reif Larsen's book The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet that starred Kyle Catlett. [10]

In 2016, Jeunet and Romain Segaud co-directed the 3-minute stop-motion animation film Deux escargots s'en vont, based on a poem by Jacques Prévert.

Since his last release, Jeunet has tried to get other projects funded but has found it impossible to find investors willing to take a risk on his quirky films. He stated in 2019 that he may go to Netflix "as a last resort", [11] and indeed his next film Big Bug was released by the streaming video company in 2022.

Filmography

Feature films

YearTitleDirectorWriterProducerNotes
1991 Delicatessen YesYesNoCo-directed with Marc Caro
1995 The City of Lost Children YesYesNo
1997 Alien Resurrection YesNoNo
2001 Amélie YesStoryNo
2004 A Very Long Engagement YesYesYes
2009 Micmacs YesYesYes
2013 The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet YesYesExecutive
2022 Bigbug YesYesYes

Short films

YearTitleDirectorWriterProducerNotes
1989 Foutaises YesYesNoAlso editor
2016Deux escargots s'en vontYesYesYesCo-directed with Romain Segaud

Music clips

Acting

Awards and nominations

Césars

Oscars

European Film Awards

Edgar Award

Collaborations

Delicatessen The City of
Lost Children
Alien
Resurrection
Amélie A Very Long
Engagement
Micmacs The Young and
Prodigious Spivet
Aline Bonetto
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Urbain Cancelier
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Marc Caro
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Bruno Delbonnel
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Jean-Claude Dreyfus
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Marie-Laure Dougnac
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André Dussollier
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Madeline Fontaine
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Ticky Holgado
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Mathieu Kassovitz
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Darius Khondji
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Serge Merlin
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Yolande Moreau
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Ron Perlman
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Dominique Pinon
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Rufus
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Hervé Schneid
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Audrey Tautou
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Decorations

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References

  1. Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine : Jean-Pierre Jeunet: A Life In Pictures. YouTube.
  2. 1 2 3 Ezra, Elizabeth (2008). Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Chicago: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data.
  3. Maslin, Janet (5 October 1991). "Review/Film Festival; Please, How Many Lentils for Your Musical Saw?". The New York Times .
  4. Holden, Stephen (15 December 1995). "FILM REVIEW;Out of the Fever Dreams of a Child". The New York Times .
  5. Maslin, Janet (26 November 1997). "FILM REVIEW; Ripley, Believe It or Not, Has a Secret, and It's Not Pretty". The New York Times .
  6. Zalewski, Daniel (28 October 2001). "Film; Going Sweet and Sentimental Has Its Rewards". The New York Times .
  7. Dargis, Manohla (26 November 2004). "A Love That Won't Surrender to War, Death and Oblivion". The New York Times .
  8. Murphy, Mekado (21 May 2010). "An Eye for Detail, an Imagination at Play". The New York Times .
  9. Jeunet, Jean-Pierre (11 June 2010), Micmacs , retrieved 1 July 2016
  10. Weissberg, Jay (28 September 2013). "Film Review: 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet'". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  11. Aguilar, Carlos (6 May 2019). "Jean-Pierre Jeunet Is Making an 'Amelie' Mockumentary and a Sci-Fi Animated Feature — Exclusive". IndieWire. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  12. "Nomination dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres janvier 2016". culturecommunication.gouv.fr. 31 March 2016. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.