Jean-Jacques Rousseau (author-filmmaker)
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a Belgian absurdist film director. He was born in Souvret (fr) (Courcelles) after the Second World War. He defends "popular" cinema, filming with very small budgets (€2000 to 2500 per film), and using unknown or non-professional actors. He calls himself the director of the absurd.
His life was supposed to be the subject of a Yann Moix (fr) film, called Palme d'or, starring Benoît Poelvoorde. The project was not film, Moix did, without Poelvoorde, the disastrous : cinéman (fr).
Rousseau's first few films were fairly conventional examples of the fantasy genre. However, some of them won regional awards in the 1970s (people's choice, best screenplay), promising a bright future for the 20-year-old filmmaker.
A semi-permanent lack of financial resources prevented him from making technically accomplished films. However, he financed, edited, directed and acted in most of them.
Having a fertile imagination fueled by esoteric tastes in books, his films shunned the mainstream more and more, thus becoming marginalized. He never received subsidies to finance his films. Patrick Moriau, a Belgian politician, once said "If one asked me to allocate part of the Walloon Community's finances to the Committee for Film Selection, the money would undoubtedly never go into Rousseau's pockets. He may be a kind man, but his films are frankly wild and scare people."
Rousseau befriended the anarchist artist Noël Godin around a decade ago, and his technique has since improved considerably, making his films more accessible.
- Igor Yaboutich (1964)
- Le Poignard maudit (1965)
- Les Malfaiteurs (1966)
- La Vallée de la Sûre (1966)
- L'Abstrait (1968)
- Le Cauchemar (1969)
- Germaine Grandieu (1972)
- Les Compagnons de justice (1974)
- Le Reposoir (1975)
- Les Immortels (1975)
- Catalepsie (1976)
- L'étoile du mal (1977)
- Dossier Réincarnation (1977)
- Les Marcheurs de la grande armée (1978)
- The Diabolical Dr. Flak (1978)
- L'histoire du cinéma 16 (1983)
- Cannes année européenne du cinéma (1988)
- Ciné effet (1988)
- Massacre au pied de biche
- Les Incubes d'Escargnole
- Furor Teutonicus (1999)
- Road Movie (2001)
- Wallonie 2084 (2003)
- Irkutz 88 (2004)
- La Revanche du sacristain cannibale (2004)
- Le Chasseur de succubes (2005)
- La mécanique du rasoir (2006)
- L'invasion des succubes (2006)
- Rock Mendès (2007)
Frédéric Sojcher's film Cinéastes à tout prix (fr), selected and shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004, is dedicated to Rousseau's work as well as Max Naveaux's and Jacques Hardy's. It stars the actors Bouli Lanners and Benoît Poelvoorde.
- (French) Official website
- (French) Rousseau on the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival's website
- (French) Interview
- (French) Ecran Large Interview: The Belgian Ed Wood
- (French) La Revue Toudi: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, cinéaste wallon" par François André
- 30 nov 2004 Par Didier Verdurand (2004-11-30). "BenoĂŽt Poelvoorde (Narco)". Ecranlarge.com. Retrieved 2014-07-17.