Jeunet at Deauville, 2009
3 September 1953 |
Roanne, Loire, France
Jean-Pierre Jeunet (French: [ʒɑ̃ pjɛʁ ʒœnɛ]; born 3 September 1953) is a French film director.
Life and career
Jean-Pierre Jeunet was born in Roanne, Loire, 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.
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).
Jeunet and Caro's first feature film was Delicatessen (1991), a black 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.
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.
The success of The City of Lost Children led to an invitation to direct the fourth movie in the Alien series, Alien Resurrection (1997). Like his subsequent films, this one is credited only to Jeunet, although Caro did some work on the art design.
Jeunet returned to France. The clout of having a Hollywood film under his belt gave him free rein on his next project, Amélie, starring Audrey Tautou. Amélie is lighter in tone than his earlier films and adds romantic and comedic elements. This change is sometimes attributed to Caro's minimal participation. This story, about a woman who takes pleasure in doing good deeds but cannot find love herself, was a huge critical and commercial success worldwide and was nominated for several Academy Awards. For this film, Jeunet also gained a European Film Award for Best Director.
In 2004, Jeunet released A Very Long Engagement, an adaptation of the novel by Sébastien Japrisot. The film, starring Audrey Tautou, chronicled a woman's search for her missing lover after World War I.
In 2006, Jeunet rejected an offer to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
In 2007, Jeunet pulled out of directing Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi for budgetary reasons.
In 2009, he released Micmacs.
Jeunet has also directed numerous commercials including a 2'25" film for Chanel N° 5 featuring his frequent collaborator Audrey Tautou.
According to the official site for Jeunet, financing is in place for his next project: TS Spivet, the adaptation of Reif Larsen’s book: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet. The film is to be shot in English on location in Canada and the US in 3D for a release in 2013.