Barbet Schroeder


Director, Producer

About

Birth Place
Iran
Born
August 26, 1941

Biography

Born in Tehran, Iran to a Swiss geologist father and a German-born, non-practicing physician mother, Barbet Schroeder spent his formative years traveling with his family, spending a key part of his childhood in Colombia. When his parents divorced when he was 11, he settled in France and gradually became enamored of motion pictures. Before age 30, he had had several careers, including fil...

Family & Companions

Bulle Ogier
Wife

Notes

"If Schroeder's films can be said to share a common impulse, it is toward examining the moral and philosophical consequences of extreme forms of extra-social, if not anti-social, freedom." --Gavin Smith writing in Film Comment, March-April 1995.

"My dream is to be like John Ford, who filmed only exactly what he needed. I can't really achieve this ideal because it would be detrimental to the actors. An actor has to play the whole scene, so if you need a closeup for a phrase, you end up playing everything that comes before it. Ford [did it his way] because he came from silent film." --Barbet Schroeder to Film Comment, March-April 1995.

Biography

Born in Tehran, Iran to a Swiss geologist father and a German-born, non-practicing physician mother, Barbet Schroeder spent his formative years traveling with his family, spending a key part of his childhood in Colombia. When his parents divorced when he was 11, he settled in France and gradually became enamored of motion pictures. Before age 30, he had had several careers, including film critic (for Cahiers du Cinema), photojournalist, and jazz impresario. In 1962, he and Eric Rohmer formed Les Films du Losange, a production company that oversaw the Rohmer's films, beginning with the as-yet-unreleased short, "La Boulangere de Monceau" (1962), which Schroeder narrated. After producing, appearing in and assisting with several other New Wave films (i.e., Godard's "Les Carabiniers" 1962) Schroeder directed his first feature, "More" (1969), a powerful depiction of heroin addiction. After "La Vallee/The Valley" (1972), in which a Frenchwoman goes native in New Guinea, the filmmaker earned acclaim for his feature-length documentaries, notably "General Idi Amin Dada" (1974), a portrait of the former Ugandan despot, and "Koko, the Talking Gorilla" (1977).

While continuing to serve as producer for such now-classics as Rohmer's "My Night at Maud's" (1969) and Jacques Rivette's "Celine and Julie Go Boating" (1974), Schroeder continued to add to his own growing reputation as a director of note. "Maitresse" (1976) was a delicious comedy about a dominatrix (portrayed by the director's wife Bulle Ogier) who decides to quit her profession when she meets her true love, while "Tricheurs" (1983) profiled a gambler (Jacques Dutronc).

Schroeder is perhaps best-known in the USA for "Barfly" (1987), an engaging account of a low-life, alcohol-sodden writer not too loosely modeled on Charles Bukowski, and "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), a complex, multi-layered account of the Claus/Sunny von Bulow scandal starring Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close. His "The Charles Bukowski Tapes" (1982-84), a series of fascinating and highly entertaining "interviews" with the author made during early work on "Barfly," were shown on French TV and at New York's Public Theatre in 1989.

Following his Academy Award nomination for his direction of "Reversal of Fortune," Schroeder helmed the intriguing and well-acted thriller "Single White Female" (1992), in which Jennifer Jason Leigh starred as a disturbed woman who begins to adopt the persona of her roommate (Bridget Fonda). The director next took on the 1995 "Kiss of Death," loosely based on the 1947 drama directed by Henry Hathaway, which divided critics. Some felt it had improved on the earlier version, while others felt it was inferior. The director retained the themes of crime and punishment for his next few features. "Before and After" (1996) told the story of a couple (Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep) coping with the arrest of their teenage son (Edward Furlong) for murder. "Desperate Measures" (1998) was a pallid thriller about a cop (Andy Garcia) who while searching for a potential bone marrow donor for his dying daughter locates a perfect match in a criminal (Michael Keaton). "Our Lady of the Assassins" (2000) was perhaps Schroeder's most personal feature in years. Filmed on location in Medellin, Colombia and based on the book by Fernando Vallejo, it told of a gay writer who returns to his hometown and discovers it is overrun with criminals and drug dealers. The author, though, begins a love affair with one of these young thugs with tragic results. Schroeder's next film was "Murder by Numbers" (2002), about a pair of high school students who commit what they think is the perfect murder and the novice FBI profiler out to track them down.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Inju, the Beast in the Shadow (2008)
Director
Terror's Advocate (2007)
Director
Murder by Numbers (2002)
Director
Our Lady of the Assassins (2000)
Director
Desperate Measures (1998)
Director
Before and After (1996)
Director
Kiss of Death (1995)
Director
Single White Female (1992)
Director
Reversal of Fortune (1990)
Director
The Charles Bukowski Tapes (1989)
Director
Barfly (1987)
Director
Tricheurs (1983)
Director
Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)
Director
Maitresse (1975)
Director
General Idi Amin Dada (1974)
Director
La Vallee (1972)
Director
More (1969)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

L'avocat (2010)
The Duchess of Langeais (2007)
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Shattered Image (1998)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Queen Margot (1994)
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
The Golden Boat (1990)
Mean Passerby
Wait Until Spring, Bandini (1989)
Roberte (1978)
Vittorio
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
Olivier
Out 1: Noli Me Tangere (1971)
Diaries, Notes and Sketches (1969)
Les carabiniers (1968)
Car salesman
Six in Paris (1968)
Jean-Pierre

Writer (Feature Film)

Inju, the Beast in the Shadow (2008)
Screenplay
Tricheurs (1983)
Screenplay
Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)
Screenplay
Maitresse (1975)
Screenplay
General Idi Amin Dada (1974)
Screenplay
La Vallee (1972)
Screenwriter
More (1969)
Screenwriter
More (1969)
Scr-dial

Producer (Feature Film)

Murder by Numbers (2002)
Producer
Our Lady of the Assassins (2000)
Producer
Shattered Image (1998)
Producer
Desperate Measures (1998)
Producer
Desolation Angels (1996)
Producer ("Presents")
Before and After (1996)
Producer
Kiss of Death (1995)
Producer
Single White Female (1992)
Producer
Barfly (1987)
Producer
Mauvaise Conduite (1984)
Producer
Perceval le gallois (1978)
Producer
Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
Executive Producer
Love in the Afternoon (1972)
Producer
My Night at Maud's (1970)
Producer
Six in Paris (1968)
Producer
La Collectionneuse (1967)
Producer
Suzanne's Career (1963)
Producer

Title Design (Feature Film)

Passion (1983)
Subtitles
Every Man For Himself (1980)
Subtitles

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

My Family: Mi Familia (1995)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)
Other
General Idi Amin Dada (1974)
Other

Cast (Special)

Mickey Rourke: The E! True Hollywood Story (1999)

Cast (Short)

The Bakery Girl of Monceau (1963)

Life Events

1962

Formed production company, Les Films du Losange, with Eric Rohmer

1962

First short film as producer, Rohmer's "La Boulangere de Monceau"

1963

Was production assistant to Jean-Luc Godard on "Les Carabiniers"; acted in one scene in the film

1965

First feature as producer, "Paris vu par.../Six in Paris", an omnibus film with segments by Douchet, Rouch, Pollet, Rohmer, Godard and Chabrol; acted in Rouch's sequence "Gare du Nord"

1969

Produced Rohmer's acclaimed "Ma Nuit Chez Maud/My Night at Maud's"

1969

Feature directing and co-writing (with Paul Gegauff) debut, "More"

1972

Reteamed with Rohmer as producer of "Chloe in the Afternoon"

1972

With Gegauff, co-wrote "La Vallee/The Valley"; also directed

1974

Served as producer of Jacques Rivette's "Celine and Julie Go Boating"; also acted in film

1974

Wrote and directed the fascinating documentary "General Idi Amin Dada"

1976

Directed and co-wrote "Maitresse"

1978

Acted in "Roberte"; Schroeder has claimed this is favorite performing job

1978

Produced Rohmer's "Perceval le Gallois/Perceval"

1981

Was producer of Rivette's film "Le Pont du Nord"

1987

Directed and produced "Barfly," based on Bukowski's life

1990

Directed Jeremy Irons in "Reversal of Fortune"; based on Claus von Bulow's trial for the attempted murder of his socialite wife; nominated for a Best Director Academy Award

1992

Directed the "roommate-from-hell" thriller "Single White Female"

1994

Acted in Patrice Chereau's "La Reine Margot/Queen Margot"

1995

Helmed "Kiss of Death"

1996

Teamed Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep in the family drama "Before and After"

1996

Portrayed the president of France in "Mars Attacks!"

1998

Helmed the thriller "Desperate Measures"

2000

Garnered praise and accolades for helming "Our Lady of the Assassins/La Virgen de los Sicarios"

2002

Directed "Murder by Numbers", about two high school students who commit a murder and are tracked by an FBI profiler

2007

Directed "Terror's advocate" about terrorism in the last 50 years seen trough the eyes of a lawyer, Jacques Verg├Ęs, and his clients; earned a DGA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Videos

Movie Clip

My Night At Maud's (1969) -- (Movie Clip) Lord, I Am Unworthy We know little about Jean-Louis Trintignant’s character, Jean-Louis, except that he seems to be a bachelor and he’s gone to church (at the Cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand, France), where he sees a blonde (Marie-Christine Barrault) he’s never met, early in My Night At Maud’s, 1969, the international hit and third film in Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales.
My Night At Maud's (1969) -- (Movie Clip) That Way To Unthinking Belief Visiting professor “Jean-Louis” (Trintignant) on a quiet Christmas-time social evening in Clermont-Ferrand, sees the girl from church (Marie-Christine Barrault) again, then runs into an old friend, a fellow academic, Vidal (Antoine Vitez), in Eric Rohmer’s My Night At Maud’s, 1969.
My Night At Maud's (1969) -- (Movie Clip) Two Cases Of Protracted Adolescence At the shank of their impromptu social evening, it sounds like professor Vidal (Antoine Vitez) and old pal Jean-Louis (Trintignant) won’t be going to see his friend Maud (Francoise Fabian), but they do, thus creating the central premise in director Eric Rohmer’s My Night At Maud’s, 1969.
My Night At Maud's (1969) -- (Movie Clip) It's Better That Things Be Impossible The friend who brought them together has just left, and divorceè Maud (Francoise Fabian) is persuading bachelor Jean-Louis (Trintignant) to stick around, beginning the conversation that occupies most of the film, in Eric Rohmer’s My Night At Maud’s, 1969, the third title in his Six Moral Tales.
Claire's Knee (1970) -- (Movie Clip) I Only Remember One Girlfriend The title, denoting the film as the fifth in Eric Rohmer's partly un-released series, and the opening on Lake Annency in the French Alps, finds Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy) reunited with Aurora (Cornu), then meeting her summer landlord (Michele Montel), in Claire's Knee, 1970.
Claire's Knee (1970) -- (Movie Clip) It's A Secret Recipe Writer Aurora (Cornu) has been trying to get her friend, soon-to-be-married diplomat Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy) to flirt with her landlord's young daughter Laura (Beatrice Romand), for which he later reproaches her, vacationing in the French Alps in Eric Rohmer's Claire's Knee, 1970.
Claire's Knee (1970) -- (Movie Clip) You'll Make Me Fall Engaged Jerome (Jean-Claude Brialy), now a regular guest at the Alpine home where his friend Aurora (Cornu) stays, is steering clear of the landlord's younger daughter (Beatrice Romand), but developing an interest in Claire (Laurence De Monaghan), in Eric Rohmer's Claire's Knee, 1970.

Companions

Bulle Ogier
Wife

Bibliography

Notes

"If Schroeder's films can be said to share a common impulse, it is toward examining the moral and philosophical consequences of extreme forms of extra-social, if not anti-social, freedom." --Gavin Smith writing in Film Comment, March-April 1995.

"My dream is to be like John Ford, who filmed only exactly what he needed. I can't really achieve this ideal because it would be detrimental to the actors. An actor has to play the whole scene, so if you need a closeup for a phrase, you end up playing everything that comes before it. Ford [did it his way] because he came from silent film." --Barbet Schroeder to Film Comment, March-April 1995.