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Berri, Claude 1934– (Claude Langmann)

BERRI, Claude 1934
(Claude Langmann)


PERSONAL


Full name, Claude Langmann; born July 1, 1934, in Paris, France; son of Hirsch (a furrier) and Beila (maiden name, Bercu) Langmann; brother of Arlette Langmann (a film editor and screenwriter); married AnneMarie Rassam, 1967 (divorced); children: (first marriage) Julien (an actor), Thomas; (with Sylvie Gautrelet) Darius. Education: Attended Lycee Turgot, Paris.


Addresses: Office Renn Productions, 10 rue Lincoln, 75008 Paris, France.


Career: Director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. Founder of Renn Productions, 1968; became partner in AMLF Distribution Company, 1973.


Member: French Union of ProducerDirectors.


Awards, Honors: Venice Film Festival Award, 1963, and Academy Award, best short subject, 1965, both for Le poulet; CIDALC Ghandi Award and Interfilm Award, and Golden Berlin Bear Award nomination, Berlin International Film Festival, 1967, all for Le vieil homme et l'enfant; Academy Award nomination (with Timothy Burrill), best film, 1980, for Tess; Cesar Award nominations, best director, best film, and best writingadaptation, 1984, all for Tchao, pantin!; Academy Award, National Academy of CinemaFrance, 1986, Film Awards, best adapted film screenplay and best film, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Film Award nominations, best direction and best foreign language film, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Cesar Award nominations, best director, best film, and best writingoriginal or adaptation (with Gerard Brach), Golden Prize nomination, Moscow International Film Festival, 1987, all for Jean de Florette; Cesar Award nominations, best director and best film, Golden Berlin Bear Award nomination, 1991, all for Uranus; Cesar Award nominations, best director, best film, and best writingoriginal or adaptation (with Arlette Langmann), 1994, all for Germinal; Golden Berlin Bear Award nomination, 1997, for Lucie Aubrac; Albert R. Broccoli Award, Cinema Expo International, 2000.


CREDITS


Film Appearances:

Le bon dieu sans confession (also known as Good Lord without Confession ), 1953.

(Uncredited) Le fils du forain, Le ble en herbe (also known as The Game of Love ), 1954.

(Uncredited) Un jeune homme a l'inaugaration, Jeune homme a l'inauguration (also known as Only the French Can and French Cancan ), French Cannon, 1955.

Un jeune, Les jeux dangereaux (also known as Dangerous Games and La strada della violenza ), 1958.

Jane's fiancee, Les bonnes femmes (also known as The Girls and The Good Girls, Donne facili, The Girls, The Good Girls, and The Good Time Girls ), 1960.

Georges, La verite (also known as La verita and The Truth ), Kingsley International, 1961.

Claude, Janine, 1961.

J'irai cracher sur vos tombes (also known as I Spit on Your Grave ), Audubon, 1962.

Andre, "Lust" (also known as "L'avarice"), Les sept peches capitaux (also known as I sette peccati capitali, The Seven Deadly Sins, and The Seven Capital Sins ), Embassy, 1962.

Bernard, La bride sur le cou (also known as A briglia sciolta, Only for Love, and Please, Not Now! ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 1963.

Behold a Pale Horse (also known as Et vint le jour de vengeance ), Columbia, 1964.

Les laches vivent d'espoir (also known as My Baby Is Black! ), U.S. Films, 1965.

(Uncredited) Un porteur, Compartiment tueurs (also known as The Sleeping Car Murders and The Sleeping Car Murder ), 1965.

(Uncredited) La chef de famille juif, La ligne de demarcation (also known as Line of Demarcation ), 1966.

Claude Avram, Mazel Tov ou le mariage (also known as Marry Me! Marry Me! ), Allied Artists, 1969.

Claude, Le cinema de Papa, 1971.

Claude, Le Sex Shop (also known as SexShop and Quello che gia conosci del sesso e non prendi piu sul serio ), United Artists/New Line Cinema, 1972.

Claude, Le male du siecle (also known as Male of the Century ), AMLF, 1975.

L'agent de police, Le roi des cons (also known as The King of Jerks ), 1981.

Client, L'homme blesse (also known as The Wounded Man ), Gaumont/World Marketing/Promovision International/Cinevista, 1983, released in the United States in 1985.

Title role, Stan the Flasher, Pyramide Distribution, 1990.

Hugues, La machine (also known as The Machine and Die Maschine ), 1994.

Le president du tribunal (presiding judge), Les trois freres (also known as The Three Brothers ), Le Studio Canal, 1995.

Himself, L'univers de Jacques Demy (also known as The Universe of Jacques Demy and The World of Jacques Demy ), 1995.

(As Claude Langmann) Maillard, Un grand cri d'amour, AMLF, 1998.

Claude Langmann, La debandade (also known as Hard Off ), Pathe, 1999.

Autograph ibrarian, Va savoir (also known as Va Savoir (Who Knows?), (Chi lo sa?), Va savoir+ ), Sony Pictures Classics, 2001.

(Uncredited) Un passant, Les rois mages, Pathe, 2001.

Peintre Cleopatre, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre (also known as Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Kleopatra, and Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra ), Miramax, 2002.


Film Work:

Director and producer, Le poulet (short film; also known as The Chicken ), Pathe Contemporary, 1963.

Director, "Baiser de 16 ans," Les baisers (also known as I baci and Una voglia matta di donna ), 1964.

Director, "La chance du guerrier," La chance et l'amour (also known as L'amore et la chance and Chance at Love ), 1964.

Associate producer, Marie pour memoire (also known as Marie for Memory ), 1967.

Producer, Oratorio for Prague (also known as Seven Days to Remember ), 1968.

Director, Le vieil homme et l'enfant (also known as The Two of Us, Claude, and The Old Man and the Boy ), Cinema V, 1968.

Producer and director, Mazel Tov ou le mariage (also known as Marry Me! Marry Me! ), Allied Artists, 1969.

Producer and director, Le pistonne (also known as The Man with Connections ), Royal, 1970.

(With Francois Truffaut, Mag Bodard, and Guy Benier) Producer, L'enfance nue (also known as Me and Naked Childhood ), Altura, 1970.

Producer, L'oeuf (also known as The Egg ), Columbia, 1971.

(With Alfred W. Crown) Producer, Taking Off, Universal, 1971.

Director, Le cinema de papa, 1971.

Producer and director, Le Sex Shop (also known as SexShop and Quello che gia conosci del sesso e non prendi piu sul serio ), United Artists/New Line Cinema, 1972.

(With Christian Fechner) Producer, Les fous du stade (also known as Stadium Nuts ), CCFC, 1972.

Producer, Je sais rien mais je dirai tout (also known as Don't Know Anything But I'll Tell All ), AMLF, 1973.

Executive producer, Pleure pas la bouche pleine (also known as Don't Cry with Your Mouth Full ), AMLF, 1973.

Director and producer, Le male du siecle (also known as Male of the Century ) AMLF, 1975.

(With JacquesEric Strauss) Producer, Je t'aime moi non plus (also known as I Love You No Longer ), AMLF, 1975.

Producer, Un sac de billes (also known as A Bag of Marbles ), AMLF, 1975.

Director, La premiere fois (also known as The First Time ), Lira/Gala Film Distributors, 1976, released in the United States by EDP, 1978.

Director, Un moment d'egarement (also known as A Summer Affair, One Wild Moment, and In a Wild Moment ), Roissy/Gala Film Distributors, 1977.

Director, A nous deux (also known as An Adventure for Two ), 1979.

Producer, Tess, Columbia, 1979.

Producer, Inspecteur la Bavure (also known as Inspector Blunder ), AMLF, 1980.

Producer and director, Je vous aime (also known as I Love You and I Love You All ), AMLF, 1980.

Director and producer, Le maitre d'ecole, 1981.

(With Tarak Ben Ammar and Pierre Grunstein) Producer, Deux heures moins le quart avant Jesus Christ (also known as A Quarter to Two before Jesus Christ ), AMLF, 1982.

Producer, L'Africain (also known as The African ), AMLF/Roissy, 1983.

Producer, Banzai, Roissy/AMLF, 1983.

Producer, La femme de mon pote (also known as My Best Friend's Girl ), 1983.

Producer and director, Tchao, pantin! (also known as So Long, Stooge ), Roissy/AMLF/European Classics/Nelson Entertainment, 1983.

(With Ariel Zeitoun and MarieLaure Reyre) Producer, L'homme blesse (also known as The Wounded Man ), Gaumont/World Marketing/Promovision International/Cinevista, 1983, released in the United States, 1985.

(With Alain Sarde) Producer, Garcon! (also known as Waiter! ), AMLF/Roissy, 1983, released in the United States, 1985.

Producer, Le vengeance du serpent a plumes (also known as The Vengeance of the Winged Serpent ), AMLF, 1984.

(With Pio Angeletti and Adriano De Micheli) Producer, Scemo di guerra (also known as Madman at War and Le fou de guerre ), Titanus/Sergio Felicioli, 1985.

Producer, Les enrages, 1985.

Director, Jean de Florette, Orion Classics, 1986.

Producer and director, Manon des sources (also known as Manon of the Springs, Manon delle sorgenti, Manon des sources: Jean de Florette 2e partie, and Jean de Florette II ), Orion Classics, 1986.

Producer, Hotel de France, Films du Volcan, 1987.

Producer, Trois places pour le 26 (also known as Three Seats for the 26th ), AMLF/Gaumont/Roissy, 1988.

Executive producer, A Gauche en sortant de l'ascenseur (also known as To the Left as You Leave the Elevator and The Door on the Left as You Leave the Elevator ), AMLF/Roissy, 1988.

Producer, The Bear (also known as L'ours ), TriStar, 1989.

(With Paul Rassam and Michael Haussman) Producer, Valmont, AMLF/Orion/Roissy, 1989.

Producer, La petite voleuse (also known as The Little Thief ), Orly Films/Renn Productions, 1989.

Producer and director, Uranus, AMLF, 1990.

Producer, Nous deux (also known as The Two of Us ), AMLF, 1992.

Producer, L'amant (also known as The Lover ), AMLF, 1992.

Producer and director, Germinal, AMLF, 1993.

Producer, Une journee chez ma mere (also known as Parttime Parents ), 1993.

Producer, La reine Margot (also known as Queen Margot, Die Bartholomaeuschnacht, and La regina Margot ), AMLF, 1994.

Producer, La separation (also known as The Separation ), AMLF, 1994.

Producer, Gazon maudit (also known as French Twist and Bushwhacked ), AMLF, 1995.

Producer, Les trois freres (also known as The Three Brothers ), Le Studio Canal, 1995.

Executive producer, Der unhold (also known as The Ogre and Le roi des aulnes ), Kino International, 1996.

Producer, Didier, AMLF, 1997.

Producer, Arlette, 1997.

Producer, Le pari (also known as The Bet ), 1997.

Director, Lucie Aubrac, 1997.

Associate producer, Mookie, AMLF, 1998.

Director, Le debandade (also known as Hard Off ), Pathe, 1999.

Producer, Mauvaise passe (also known as The Escort and The Wrong Blonde ), 1999.

Producer, La boite, Pathe, 2001.

Producer, Ma femme est une actrice (also known as My Wife Is an Actress ), Sony Pictures Classics, 2001.

Producer, Les rois mages, Pathe, 2001.

Producer, Asterix & Obelix contre Cesar (also known as Asterix & Obelix gegen Caesar, Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar, Asterix e Obelix contro Cesare, and Asterix and Obelix Take On Caesar ), 2002.

Director and producer, Une femme de menage (also known as A Housekepper ), Palm Pictures, 2002.

Producer, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatre (also known as Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Kleopatra, and Asterix and Obelix Meet Cleopatra ), Miramax, 2002.

Producer, Amen (also known as Eyewitness, and Der Stellvertreter ), Kino International, 2002.

Producer, Le bison (et sa voisine Dorine), Pathe, 2003.

Producer, Les sentiments (also known as Feelings ), ARP Selection, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Le steward, "Reactions en chaine," Les cinq dernieres minutes, 1958.

Marcel L., "Quarantecinq tours et puis s'en vont," Les cinq dernieres minutes, 1964.

Himself, "Special producteurs," Cinema cinemas, 1989.

Himself, Les nuls l'emission, 1991.

Himself, Tout le monde en parle, 2002, 2003.

Himself, Rive droiterive gauche, 2003, On ne peut pas plaire a tout le monde, 2003.


WRITINGS


Screenplays:

Janine, 1961.

(With others) Les baisers, 1964.

(With others) La chance et l'amour, 1964.

(With Michel Rivelin and Gerard Brach) Le vieil homme et l'enfant (also known as The Two of Us, Claude, and The Old Man and the Boy ), Cinema V, 1968.

Mazel Tov ou le mariage (also known as Marry Me! Marry Me! ), Allied Artists, 1969.

Le pistonne (also known as The Man with Connections ), Royal, 1970.

Le cinema de papa, 1971.

Le Sex Shop (also known as SexShop and Quello che gia conosci del sesso e non prendi piu sul serio ), United Artists/New Line Cinema, 1972.

L'oeuf (also known as The Egg ), 1972.

(With JeanLouis Richard) Le male du siecle, AMLF, 1975.

La premiere fois (also known as The First Time ), Lira/Gala Film Distributors, 1976, released in the United States by EDP, 1978.

Un moment d'egarement (also known as A Summer Affair, One Wild Moment, and In a Wild Moment ), Roissy/Gala Film Distributors, 1977.

Je vous aime (also known as I Love You ), AMLF, 1980.

Le maitre d'ecole, 1981.

(With Alain Page) Tchao, pantin! (also known as So Long, Stooge ), Roissy/AMLF/European Classics/Nelson Entertainment, 1983.

Scemo di guerra (also known as Le fou de guerre and Madman at War ), 1985.

(With Gerard Brach) Jean de Florette, Orion Classics, 1986.

(With Brach) Manon des sources (also known as Manon of the Springs, Manon delle sorgenti, Manon des sources: Jean de Florette 2e partie, and Jean de Florette II ), Orion Classics, 1986.

Uranus, AMLF, 1990.

Germinal, AMLF, 1993.

Lucie Aubrac, 1997.

La debandade (also known as Hard Off ), Pathe, 1999.

Une femme de menage (adapted from the novel by Christian Oster; also known as A Housekeeper ), Palm Pictures, 2002.

Novels:

The Two of Us, Morrow, 1968.

Marry Me, Marry Me, Morrow, 1969.


OTHER SOURCES

Periodicals:

Atlantic Monthly, May, 1994, p. 129.

Variety, July 21, 1997, p. 5.

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Berri, Claude

BERRI, Claude



Nationality: French. Born: Claude Berel Langmann in Paris, 1 July 1934. Family: Married Anne-Marie Rassam, 1967 (divorced); two sons: Julien and Thomas; brother of writer/editor/production designer Arlette Langmann. Career: Dropped out of school and worked with his parents as a furrier, 1949; began his career as an actor, appearing in roles on stage and screen, early 1950s; formed Renn Productions, his own production company, 1963; formed AMLF-Paris, a distribution company, early 1970s; became founding president of the French Union of Producers-Directors. Awards: Best Live Action Short Subject Academy Award, for Le Poulet, 1965; Berlin International Film Festival C.I.D.A.L.C. Ghandi Award, Berlin International Film Festival Interfilm Award, for Le Vieil homme et l'enfant, 1967; Best Adapted Screenplay British Academy Award, Best Film British Academy Award, for Jean de Florette, 1986. Address: Renn Productions, 10 rue Lincoln, 75008 Paris, France.


Films as Director:

1963

Le Poulet (The Chicken) (short) (+ pr, sc, ro); Les Baisers (Kisses) (episode)

1964

La Chance et l'amour (Luck and Love) (episode)

1967

Le Vieil homme et l'enfant (The Two of Us, Claude, The Old Man and the Boy) (+ co-sc)

1969

Mazel Tov ou le mariage (Marry Me! Marry Me!) (+ pr, sc, ro)

1970

Le Pistonne (The Man with Connections); Le Cinema du papa (Papa's Movies) (+ ro)

1973

Le Sex Shop (+ sc, ro)

1975

Le Male du siecle (Male of the Century) (+ ro)

1976

La Premiere fois (The First Time) (+ sc)

1977

Un moment d'egarement (In a Wild Moment, One Wild Moment, A Summer Affair)

1979

A nous deux (An Adventure for Two)

1980

Je vous aime (I Love You All) (+ sc)

1981

Le Maitre d'ecole (The School Master)

1983

Tchao, pantin! (+ sc)

1986

Jean de Florette (+ co-sc); Manon des sources (Manon of the Spring) (+ sc)

1990

Uranus (+ co-sc)

1993

Germinal (+ pr, co-sc)

1997

Lucie Aubrac (+ sc)

1999

La Debandade (+ co-sc, ro)



Other Films:

1953

Le Bon Dieu sans confession (Autant-Lara) (ro)

1954

Le Ble en herbe (Autant-Lara) (ro)

1955

Jeune homme a l'inauguration (French Cancan, Only the French Can) (Renoir) (ro)

1959

J'irai cracher sur vos tombes (I Spit on Your Grave) (Gast) (ro)

1960

Les Bonnes femmes (The Girls) (Chabrol) (ro); La Verite (The Truth) (Clouzot) (ro)

1961

La Bride sur le cou (Only for Love, Please Not Now!) (Aurel, Trop, Vadim) (ro); Janine (Pialat—for TV) (sc)

1962

Les Sept peches capitaux (The Seven Capital Sins, The Seven Deadly Sins) (de Broca, Chabrol, Demy, Dhomme, Godard, Molinaro, Vadim) (ro)

1964

Behold a Pale Horse (Zinnemann) (ro)

1966

La Ligne de demarcation (Line of Demarcation) (Chabrol) (ro)

1970

L'Enfance nue (Me, Naked Childhood) (Pialat) (co-pr)

1979

Tess (Polanski) (co-pr)

1980

Inspecteur la Bavure (Zidi) (pr)

1982

Deux heures moins le quart avant Jesus-Christ (Yanne) (co-pr) 1983 L'Africain (The African) (de Broca) (pr); Banzai (Zidi) (pr); L'Homme blesse (Chereau) (ro)

1985

Les Enrages (Glenn) (co-pr)

1987

Hotel de France (Chereau) (pr); Sous le soleil de Satan (Under the Sun of Satan) (Pialat) (ro)

1988

L'Ours (The Bear) (Annaud) (pr); Trois places pour le 26 (Demy) (pr); A gauche en sortant de l'ascenseur (The Door on the Left as You Leave the Elevator) (Molinaro) (exec pr)

1989

La Petite voleuse (The Little Thief) (Miller) (co-pr); Valmont (Forman) (exec pr)

1990

Stan the Flasher (Gainsbourg) (ro)

1991

L'Amant (The Lover) (Annaud) (co-pr)

1994

La Reine Margot (Queen Margot) (Chereau) (pr); La Separation (The Separation) (Vincent) (pr); La Machine (The Machine) (Dupeyron) (ro)

1995

Gazon Maudit (French Twist) (Balasko) (exec pr); Les Trois freres (Bourdon, Campan) (co-pr, ro)

1996

Der Unhold (The Ogre) (Schlondorff) (co-exec pr); Billard a l'etage (Marboeuf—for TV) (exec pr)

1997

Didier (Chabat) (pr); Arlette (Zidi) (pr); Le Pari (Bourdon, Campan) (pr)

1998

Mookie (Palud) (assoc pr); Un grand cri d'amour (Balasko) (ro)

1999

Asterix et Obelix contre Cesar (Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar) (Zidi) (pr); Mauvaise passe (The Escort, The Wrong Blonde) (Blanc) (pr)



Publications


By BERRI: books—

Le Vieil homme et l'enfant, Paris, 1967.

Marry Me! Marry Me!, New York, 1969

Le Pistonne, Paris, 1970.


By BERRI: articles—

"Claude Berri, of AMLF, to U.S. for Film Sales Talks," interview with Gene Moskowitz, in Variety (New York), 8 March 1978.

"French Filmmaker Claude Berri Now Involved in All Phases of Industry," interview with John Cocchi, in Box Office (New York), 24 April 1978.

"Je vous aime," interview, in Film en Televisie (Brussels), March 1981. Berri, Claude, "L'ami difinitif," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), December 1984.

Berri, Claude, "Un souvenir de Tchecosiovaquie," in Cahiers duCinéma (Paris), March 1985.

"Claude Berri," interview with V. Ostria, in Cinematographe (Paris), July/August 1986.

Interview with P. Merigeau, in Revue du Cinema (Paris), September 1986.

"France's Pagnol and Pagnol's France Bask Again in Nostalgic Warmth," interview with R. Bernstein, in New York Times, 7 December 1986.

"France's Savory Tale of Fate," interview with R. Bernstein, in NewYork Times, 21 June 1987.

"Claude Berri," interview with M. Buruiana, in Séquences (Quebec), June 1991.

"Vous n'en avez pas marre, Claude Berri?," interview with Alain Kruger, Eric Libiot, in Premiere (Paris), March 1997.


On BERRI: articles—

"Directing Not Enough for Berri, Who Produces, Co-Prods. & Acts," in Variety (New York), 2 October 1974.

Delvaud, G., "Claude Berri ou l'art de ne pas bouger," in Cahiers duCinéma (Paris), January 1980.

Cornand, A., "Le martre d'ecole," in Revue du Cinema (Paris), December 1981.

Bergala, A. and others, "La Porte etroite," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), May 1985.

"Berri Taps Rich Pagnol Lode, Rolls $9,500,000 Twin Projects," in Variety (New York), 1 May 1985.

Gonzales, J.G., "Claude Berri: un director que finalmente encuentra su estilo," in Images (Puerto Rico), no. 2, 1987.

Jorholt, E., "Kampen om vandet," in Kosmorama (Copenhagen), Winter 1987.

"It's the Berris Behind Those Two Pagnol Smashes," in Variety, 18 February 1987.

Chase, D., "Close-Ups: Profiles of Production People," in Millimeter (Cleveland, Ohio), July 1987.

Buckley, M., "Claude Berri," in Films in Review (New York), January 1988.

Current Biography (New York), 1989.

Solman, G., "Claude Berri," in Millimeter (Cleveland, Ohio), January 1990.

Zimmer, J., "Uranus," in Revue du Cinema (Paris), January 1991.

Riding, A., "A Fable of Guilt and Innocence from 'Le Big Boss'," in New York Times, 18 August 1991.

Granger, R., "Berri's Uranus from Prestige, Probes Post-War French guilt," in Film Journal (New York), October/November 1991.

Haden-Guest, A., "Paris Clout," in Vanity Fair (New York), January 1992.

Morice, P., "L'Europe a la question," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), May 1992.

Williams, M., "Berri Looks to Mine Gold with Germinal," in Variety (New York), 4 October 1993.

Bonneville, S., "Claude Berri's Germinal," in Séquences (Quebec), November/December 1993.

Slodowski, J., "Germinal," in Filmowy Serwis Prasowy (Kracow), no. 4, 1994.

Bear, Liza, "Berri Brings Savoir-faire to Producing Game," in FilmJournal (New York), April 1994.


* * *

Claude Berri started out in the early 1950s as an actor, and for several years appeared in roles on stage and screen. When he realized that stardom would elude him, be turned to writing and directing; however, he remained in front of the camera in many of his earliest films as director-screenwriter. The most representative include Le Vieil homme et l'enfant (The Two of Us), Le Cinema du papa (Papa's Movies), Mazel Tov ou le mariage (Marry Me! Marry Me!), Le Sex Shop, and Le Male du siecle (Male of the Century). Le Vieil homme et l'enfant, Berri's debut feature, is set during World War II and chronicles the evolving relationship between a grumpy old anti-Semite and a young Jewish boy. It is a warm-hearted, humanistic allegory, seasoned with an ethnic flavor that reflects Berri's Polish-Romanian Jewish background and, even more specifically, his own experiences when his parents went into hiding during the Occupation and placed him with a non-Jewish family.

In his subsequent films, the relationships and themes Berri explored were more adult in nature: love and marriage (in Mazel Tov ou le mariage); the male preoccupation with sex and pornography (Le Sex Shop); marital jealousy (Le Male du siecle); and connections between parents and offspring (Le Cinema du papa). In each, Berri casts himself as the male lead; that they are at least partially autobiographical is evidenced by the fact that all of Berri's characters are named "Claude." Berri's parents both were employed in the Paris fur district, and in Mazel Tov ou le mariage his character even is a furrier's son. The manner in which the "Claude" character permeates Berri's early work parallels Truffaut's use of Antoine Doinel as a cinematic alter ego. Nonetheless, Berri's early-career films are fashioned as mainstream entertainments, and so even the best of them do not rate with the works of Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, or other icons of the French New Wave. Indeed, Berri has admitted that at this stage of his career his primary aim was to amuse, rather than create art.

After a career slump in the late 1970s, Berri came back strong in the following decade with three very different films: Je vous aime (I Love You All), an exploration of romantic connections from a woman's viewpoint; Le Maitre d'ecole (The School Master), the story of a devoted schoolteacher; and Tchao, pantin!, a tale of revenge centering on a lonely anti-hero and his response to the murder of a young friend. Then he reached a career summit with Jean de Florette and a sequel, Manon des sources (Manon of the Spring), adapted from Marcel Pagnol's two-volume novel, The Water of the Hills, which deservedly became major art house hits in the United States. Both are rich and rewarding examples of old-fashioned, back-to-basics storytelling, with colorful, larger-than-life characterizations and fluid, cohesive narratives. Jean de Florette and Manon des sources are linked to Le Vieil homme et l'enfant as films that tell simple, human stories. In this regard, they are links both to Berri's cinematic roots and the films he scripted and directed in the 1990s.

Jean de Florette is the story of Jean Cadoret, a hunchback who inherits some farmland in Pagnol's beloved Provence. Jean arrives with his wife and young daughter in tow, and elicits a passion for toiling the earth. His dream is to live peacefully, and eat the vegetables he harvests. Unfortunately, a wily, powerful old landowner named Cesar Soubeyran covets Jean's property for its hidden resource: a stream. The naive, affable Jean is unaware that this source of water exists on his land; meanwhile, Cesar and his cretinous nephew Ugolin plot to drive him out of the district by concocting a series of deceptions.

The films ends with Jean dead and his little daughter Manon accidentally discovering the deceit. This serves as a segue into Manon des sources, with Manon having grown into a beautiful shepherdess who is like a force of nature. Yet she also is awaiting the right moment to avenge her father.

Jean de Florette and Manon des sources lyrically capture the ebb and flow of life while reflecting on living and dying, the passage of time, and survival. Both mirror the nature of pettiness and greed, and how they may cause unnecessary, irrevocable pain; they spotlight the simple reality that one person's fortune may be another's catastrophe. If Jean de Florette details the anguish of an innocent man who savors life and meets an early end because of his neighbors' avarice, Manon des sources chronicles how those villains are not allowed peace. Despite the ambitious themes explored by Berri in his subsequent films, Jean de Florette and Manon des sources remain the bellwethers of his career.

Uranus, Berri's first release of the 1990s, is a contemplative chronicle of the interaction between the citizens, among them collaborators, resistance members, and those in between, in a small French town at the end of World War II. Here, Berri returns to the approximate time period of Le Vieil homme et l'enfant. He does the same while focusing on individual heroism in Lucie Aubrac, the based-on-fact account of husband-and-wife members of the French Resistance. While all three films succeed as vivid depictions of life in France during the war, Uranus and Lucie Aubrac offer Berri's take on the manner in which individual Frenchmen and women responded to the chaos of the time. Finally, Germinal, based on the Emile Zola novel, is epic in scope, a sobering, carefully detailed expose of the exploitation of French coal miners in the late 19th century. The film is linked to Jean de Florette and Manon des sources as a humanistic exploration of the manner in which individuals are manipulated by greater forces of evil.

In the early 1960s, Berri established his own production company; a decade later, he was involved in the formation of a distribution company. Over the years he has produced, co-produced, and distributed scores of films. He has been equally involved in the backing of commercial and non-commercial properties, and such classics as Eric Rohmer's Ma Nuit chez Maud (My Night at Maud's) and Jacques Rivette's Celine et Julie vont en bateau (Celine and Julie Go Boating). Most often, he has worked over and over with the same filmmakers, including Maurice Pialat, Claude Zidi, Patrice Chereau, and Josiane Balasko.

—Rob Edelman

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"Berri, Claude." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Berri, Claude." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved October 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/berri-claude