Mathieu Kassovitz

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Mathieu Kassovitz
Mathieu Kassovitz.jpg
Kassovitz at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
Born (1967-08-03) 3 August 1967 (age 49)
Paris, France
Occupation Actor, director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Julie Mauduech (divorced; 1 child)
Aurore Lagache (separated; 2 children)
Website mathieukassovitz.com

Mathieu Kassovitz (born 3 August 1967) is a French director, screenwriter, producer, editor, and actor probably best known in Anglophone countries for his role as Nino Quincampoix in Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain; 2001). Kassovitz is also the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company.

He has won three César Awards: Most Promising Actor for See How They Fall (1994), and Best Film and Best Editing for La Haine (1995). He also received Best Director and Best Writing nominations.

Early life[edit]

Kassovitz was born in Paris, the son of Chantal Rémy, a film editor, and Peter Kassovitz, a director and writer.[1] His mother is a French Roman Catholic, and his father is a Hungarian Jew who left during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[2] (Mathieu Kassovitz has described himself as "not Jewish but I was brought up in a world of Jewish humor").[2]

Career[edit]

Filmmaker[edit]

As a filmmaker, Kassovitz has made several artistic and commercial successes. He wrote and directed La Haine (Hate, 1995), a film dealing with themes around class, race, violence, and police brutality.[3] The film won the César Award for Best Film and netted Kassovitz the Best Director prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[4] When he was compared to Spike Lee because the film was being compared to Lee's Do the Right Thing, he noted the irony:

I don't know if it's really important, or intelligent even, when people say to me I'm a white Spike Lee, because they said to Spike Lee you're a black Woody Allen.[5]

He later directed Les Rivières Pourpres (2000), a police detective thriller starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, another massive commercial success in France, and Gothika (2003), a fantasy thriller (considered by some to be a commercial failure, although it grossed over three times its roughly $40 million budget), with Halle Berry and Penélope Cruz. He used the money he made from Gothika to develop a far more personal project Babylon Babies, the adaptation of one of Maurice Dantec's books.[6] Kassovitz established the film production firm MNP Entreprise in 2000 "to develop and produce feature films by Kassovitz and to represent him as a director and actor."[7] MNP Entreprise is responsible for the co-productions of a number of films including Avida (2006) in which Kassovitz acts and Babylon A.D. which he directed. Kassovitz purchased the film rights for the novel Johnny Mad Dog by Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala. The film was also co-produced by MNP Entreprise, and directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. The premiere of the film was made at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it was screened within the Un Certain Regard section.[8]

In 2011, he starred in and directed Rebellion, a war film based on a true story of French commandos who clashed with tribes in New Caledonia, the Melanesian territory of France. His future project science fiction film MNP is named after Mir Space Station, whose writing in Cyrillic letters (Мир) look like the letters MNP, and also the production company.[9]

Actor[edit]

Kassovitz during the preview of the movie L'Ordre et la Morale, 2011.

Kassovitz is most famous outside France for his acting role as Nino Quincampoix in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie. Among many other credits, he also had small roles in La Haine (which he also directed), Birthday Girl, and The Fifth Element. He played a leading role in Amen. (2003) by Costa-Gavras. Kassovitz is also recognizable for playing a conflicted Belgian explosives expert in Steven Spielberg's controversial 2005 film Munich, alongside Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush. Kassovitz was a jury member for the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Kassovitz was married to French actress Julie Mauduech, whom he directed and acted alongside in his 1993 film Métisse (Café au lait, English title) and who made a brief appearance in La Haine (during the scene in the Parisian art gallery).[10] They have one daughter.[11] Kassovitz also has two children with his former partner, actress Aurore Lagache.[citation needed]

In 2009, Kassovitz won with Tesla Roadster the Rallye Monte Carlo des Véhicules à Énergie Alternative (starting event of the FIA Alternative Energies Cup) in the category reserved to electric vehicles.[12][13]

Kassovitz is also known for his outspokenness, frequently making controversial comments on socio-political issues.

In November 2005, riots spread throughout suburbs of Paris following the deaths of two teenagers of black and North African descent, who were electrocuted while avoiding police ID checks and questioning. The question of whether young men were victims of racial discrimination set off a chain reaction of violence in schools, gyms, and police stations, and an aggressive response from then-Home Office Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy stirred controversy and outrage when he said the rioters were "rabble" and should be "cleansed" from the banlieues (suburbs) with a "fire hose".[citation needed]

Kassovitz, whose film La Haine a decade earlier had highlighted such tensions, publicly responded to Sarkozy via his blog, saying Sarkozy held "ideas that not only reveal his inexperience of politics and human relations, but which also illuminate the purely demagogical and egocentric aspects of a puny, would-be Napoleon."[14] In a 2012 interview, he labeled the outgoing Sarkozy administration as "horrible".[15]

Filmography[edit]

As filmmaker[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Screenwriter Producer
1990 Fierrot le pou Yes Yes Short film
1991 Cauchemar Blanc Yes Yes Short film
1991 Cannes Film Festival - Perspectives du Cinéma Award
Chicago International Film Festival - Best Short Film
1992 Assassins... Yes Yes Short film
1993 Métisse Yes Yes Festival du Film de Paris - Special Jury Prize
Nominated—César Award for Best First Feature Film
1995 La Haine Yes Yes Also as editor
1995 Cannes Film Festival - Best Director
César Award for Best Film
César Award for Best Editing
European Film Award for European Discovery of the Year
Lumières Award for Best Film
Lumières Award for Best Director
Nominated—César Award for Best Director
Nominated—César Award for Best Writing
Nominated—European Film Award for Best Film
1996 Lumières sur un massacre Yes Documentary short (segment: La Forêt)
1997 Assassin(s) Yes Yes Also as editor
Nominated—1997 Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
1998 Article Premier Yes Short film
2000 The Crimson Rivers Yes Yes Nominated—César Award for Best Director
Nominated—European Film Academy People's Choice Award for Best European Film
Nominated—San Sebastián International Film Festival - Golden Shell
2003 Gothika Yes
2004 La Chepor Yes Short film
2005 Nèg Maron Yes
2006 White Palms Yes
2006 Avida Yes
2007 Les Deux Mondes Yes
2008 Enfants de Don Quichotte (Acte 1) Yes Documentary
2008 Johnny Mad Dog Yes
2008 Babylon A.D. Yes Yes Yes
2008 Louise Hires a Contract Killer Yes
2011 Rebellion Yes Yes Yes Also as editor
Nominated—César Award for Best Adaptation

As actor[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Médecins de nuit TV series
1979 Au bout du bout du banc Mathias Oppenheim
1981 Next Year If All Goes Well A boy
1983 La Vie de Berlioz Young Berlioz TV mini-series
1990 Fierrot le pou Short film
Also as director and screenwriter
1992 Touch and Die Piaz Telefilm
1992 Un été sans histoires A hitchhiker
1992 Assassins... Short film
Also as director and screenwriter
1993 Métisse Felix Also as director and screenwriter
Nominated—César Award for Most Promising Actor
1994 Elle voulait faire quelque chose Mathieu Short film
1994 Avant mais après Short film
1994 3000 scénarios contre un virus TV series
1994 See How They Fall Johnny César Award for Most Promising Actor
1994 Putain de porte Short film
1995 The City of Lost Children Man on the street Uncredited
1995 La Haine Young Skinhead Also as director, screenwriter and editor
1995 Les Fleurs de Maria Papadopylou Short film
1996 My Man 1st Client: Clément Uncredited
1996 A Self Made Hero Albert Dehousse
1996 News from the Good Lord A nurse
1997 The Fifth Element Mugger
1997 Assassin(s) Max Also as director and screenwriter
1998 Pleasure (And Its Little Inconveniences) Roland
1999 Jakob the Liar Herschel
2001 Amélie Nino Quincampoix Swann d'Or for Best Actor
2001 Birthday Girl Yuri
2002 Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra Physionomiste banquet
2002 Amen. Riccardo Fontana Nominated—César Award for Best Actor
2005 Munich Robert
2006 Avida The producer Also as producer
2008 Louise Hires a Contract Killer The farm owner Also as producer
2011 Rebellion Philippe Legorjus Also as director, screenwriter and producer
2011 Haywire Studer
2012 Another Woman's Life Paul Speranski
2012 Le Guetteur Vincent Kaminski
2013 Angélique Nicolas / Calembredaine
2014 Nobody from Nowhere Sébastien Nicolas / Henri de Montalte
2014 Wild Life Paco (Philippe Fournier) Nominated—Lumières Award for Best Actor
2015 The Bureau Malotru TV series
2016 War & Peace Napoléon Bonaparte TV series
2016 Le Gang des Antillais Bar owner
2016 Apocalypse Verdun Voice-over Documentary
2017 Happy End
2017 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
2017 Sparring Steve Landry
2017 De plus belle

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mathieu Kassovitz profile". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Riding, Alan (1994-08-14). "A French Director Straight Out of (Enfin) Spike Lee". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  3. ^ France.html Presentation of the documentary A Film and Its Era: La Haine
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: La Haine". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Mathieu Kassovitz biography, imdb.com; accessed 6 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Mathieu Kassovitz profile". Voice.fr. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "MNP Entreprise". En.unifrance.org. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Film details 2008". Festival-cannes.fr. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Leffler, Rebecca (21 May 2008). "Kassovitz leading 'Rebellion', big-budget 'MNP'". The Hollywood Reporter, the Daily from Cannes. Cannes (8): 22. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Mathieu Kassovitz: Biographie". LeJournal des Femmes (in French). 
  11. ^ name=Voici.fr"La biographie de Mathieu Kassovitz avec Voici.fr". Voici.fr (in French). Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Classement final officiel 2009, ACM.mc; accessed 6 August 2015.
  13. ^ (French) un-vehicule-electrique-parcourt-390-kilometres.html Nouveau record du monde: un véhicule électrique parcourt 390 kilomètres, World Sports Events; accessed 6 August 2015.
  14. ^ "La haine: Kassovitz vs. Sarkozy - From the Current - The Criterion Collection". Criterion.com. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Hungarians are crazy", Index.hu, 30 May 2012.

External links[edit]