Jean-Pierre Jeunet

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ pjɛʁ ʒœnɛ]; born September 3, 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 a block of flats 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 kidnaps children in order to steal their dreams thus preventing him from aging prematurely.

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.[citation needed] Though not well received by critics,[citation needed] Alien Resurrection turned a profit at the box office.[citation needed]

Jeunet returned to France. The clout of having a Hollywood film under his belt gave him free rein on his next project,[original research?] Amélie, starring Audrey Tautou. Amélie diverges in tone from his earlier films, as it has romantic and comedic elements and lacks his previous films' dark mise-en-scene. This change is sometimes attributed[by whom?] to Caro's minimal participation.[citation needed] 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.

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