Died this Friday, January 14 at the age of 75, director Jean-Jacques Beineix leaves behind six feature films, three of which have become cult like the unforgettable “37.2 in the morning”. Not everyone was unanimous, but the director left his mark on French cinema.
“An assertive character, a certain talent, cult films (Diva, 37.2 in the morning, The moon in the gutter) failures sometimes, documentaries too, and always a notch, a style, a method, the grandiose assurance of stubborn, in short someone” shared Gilles Jacob on his Twitter account, hailing a talented director, whose first film immediately marked the 7e art.
Diva – 1981
After being an assistant director for fifteen years, Jean-Jacques Beineix went behind the camera for the first time on his own behalf in 1980 with “Diva”. Released the following year, this feature film won four César awards in 1982. He brings together on screen Frédéric Andrei, Jacques Fabbri, Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez or Richard Bohringer in this police drama narrating the manhunt of which a young postman in love with a singer will be the subject. The film marks the spirits for its innovative visual aesthetics. The soundtrack is by Vladimir Cosma.
The Moon in the Gutter – 1983
With “The Moon in the Gutter”, his second film released in 1983, Jean-Jacques Beineix offered a selection at the Cannes Film Festival. He narrates the drift of a docker, who, following the suicide of his sister, after a rape, decides to take revenge. Gérard Depardieu slips into the skin of this tormented docker alongside Nastassja Kinski and Victoria Abril. Although the film is in official competition at Cannes and despite a César for best decor in 1984, the film does not meet its audience.
37.2 in the morning – 1985
His third feature film, 37°2 le matin has become totally cult. By bringing to the screen the destructive passion of Zorg and Betty, encamped by the sensual and sparkling Béatrice Dalle, Jean-Jacques Beineix is elevated to the rank of international star. The film adapted from the eponymous novel by Philippe Djian will launch the career of Béatrice Dalle, totally unknown at the time, and that of Jean-Hugues Anglade. Opening with a sex scene, the film is prohibited for at least 16 years old on its release. It was nominated nine times for the César and also won an Oscar nomination, in the category best foreign film. The film was a huge public success.
Will follow in 1989, “Roselyne and the Lions” then in 1993, “IP5”, last film of Yves Montand, but these productions will never have the success of the first films of Jean-Jacques Beineix. The director shot “Mortel Transfert” in 2001, his last feature film. There he finds Jean-Hugues Anglade alongside this time Hélène de Fougerolles.