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Claire Denis

Claire Denis

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: April 21, 1948 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Paris, FR Profession: screenwriter, director, assistant director, actor, production assistant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A key member of the new wave of female French directors, Claire Denis toiled for more than 10 years as an assistant director before winning international acclaim with her first feature film, "Chocolat" (1988), a semi-autobiographical tale of a young French girl in Africa. "Chocolat", co-written with Jean-Pol Fargeau, was a meditation on colonialism. The woman returning to Africa is driven by an American black and the intertwining of their stories links the pair to the continent through issues of native identity. It was the official French entry in the Cannes Film Festival.

A key member of the new wave of female French directors, Claire Denis toiled for more than 10 years as an assistant director before winning international acclaim with her first feature film, "Chocolat" (1988), a semi-autobiographical tale of a young French girl in Africa. "Chocolat", co-written with Jean-Pol Fargeau, was a meditation on colonialism. The woman returning to Africa is driven by an American black and the intertwining of their stories links the pair to the continent through issues of native identity. It was the official French entry in the Cannes Film Festival.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
  Friday Night (2002) Director
6.
  Trouble Every Day (2001) Director
7.
  Beau Travail (1999) Director
8.
  Nenette et Boni (1996) Director
9.
  Propos de Nice, La Suite, A (1995) Director ("Nice, Very Nice")
10.
  U.S. Go Home (1994) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Venus Beauty Institute (French) (1999) Asthmatic Client
2.
 To Have (Or Not) (1995) Alice'S Mother
3.
 Mais ou et donc ornicar (1979) Jeune Accouchee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1948:
Lived with civil servant father and family in Africa
1962:
Sent back to France to live with her grandfather in Paris
1983:
Produced short film with the Great Magic Circus
1974:
Worked as production assistant for director Robert Enrico on "Le Vieux fusil/The Hidden Gun"
1978:
Was first assistant director for Alain Fleischer on "Zoo-Zero"
1979:
Acting debut in "Mais ou et donc ornicar"
1984:
Was first assistant director for Wim Wenders on "Paris, Texas"
1988:
Again worked with Wenders on "Wings of Desire"
1988:
Co-wrote and directed first feature film, "Chocolat"
1989:
Made "Man No Run", a documentary on the tour of the African band Les Tetes Brulees
1989:
Directed first TV project, "Jacques Rivette, le veilleur"
1990:
Returned to fiction, scripting and directing "No Fear, No Die"
1996:
Directed and wrote "Nenette et Boni"
1999:
Received widespread praise for her lyrical "Beau Travail", loosely adapted from "Billy Budd"
2000:
Helmed the thriller "Trouble Every Day", starring Vincent Gallo; released theatrically in USA in 2002
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques: - 1971

Notes

"For many whites, I think Africa remains the magic continent. But the experience of whites is always the same: we approach, approach, approach, but we never quite reach the heart of Africa. In 'Chocolat', I always tried to maintain only the perspectives of the whites. I just didn't think I should pretend to understand the black point of view." --Claire Denis in THE NEW YORK TIMES, c. 1988

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