Trintignant, Nadine 1934-

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Trintignant, Nadine 1934-
(Nadine Marquand, Nadine Marquand Trintignant)


Born November 11, 1934, in Nice, France; married Jean-Louis Trintignant (an actor), 1960 (divorced, 1976); married Alain Corneau; children: Marie (deceased), Pauline (deceased), and Vincent.


Office—French Film Office, 745 5th Ave., New York, NY 10151.


Film director, film editor, and author. Entered film industry at age fifteen as a lab assistant and worked as a script girl, assistant editor, and film editor before becoming a director of television and film projects.


Golden Palm nomination, Cannes Film Festival, 1957, for Mon amour, mon amour.


Ça n'arrive qu'aux autres, Seghers (Paris, France), 1972.

Ton chapeau au vestiaire, Fayard (Paris, France), 1997.

Le jeune homme de la rue de France (novel), Fayard (Paris, France), 2002.

Ma fille, Marie, Fayard (Paris, France), 2003.

J'ai été jeune un jour: récit, Fayard (Paris, France), 2006.


Fragilité, ton nom est femme (short film), 1965.

Mon amour, mon amour (also known as My Love, My Love), Les Films Marceau, 1967.

(And producer) Le Voleur de crimes (also known asCrime Thief), Capitole Films, 1969.

(Under name Nadine Marquand Trintignant) Ça n'arrive qu'aux autres (also known as It Only Happens to Others), Les Films 13, 1971.

Défense de savoir (also known as Forbidden to Know), Lira Films, 1973.

(Under name Nadine Marquand Trintignant) Le Voyage de noces (also known as The Honeymoon Trip), Lira Films, 1976.

Premier voyage (also known as First Voyage), Oliane Productions, 1980.

Le Vieil homme et la ville, 1981.

L'Été prochain (also known as Next Summer), Parafrance Films, 1985.

Qui c'est ce garçon? (television miniseries), France 2, 1987.

La Maison de jade (also known as The House of Jade), Les Films Pomereu, 1988.

(With Emmanuele Bernheim) Lucas (television film), 1987.

Rêveuse jenuesse (television film; also known as Shattered Lives), Taurus Films, 1994.

Fugueuses (also known as Runaways), AFCL, 1995.

L'Insoumise (television film), 1996.

(With Evelyne Pisier, Yves Belaubre, and Marie Trintignant)Victoire; ou, la douleur des femmes(television miniseries, adapted from the novel by Gilbert Schlogel), France 2, 2000.

L'Île bleue (television film; also known as The Blue Island), France 2, 2001.Colette, une femme libre (television miniseries), France 2, 2004.


From the very beginnings of Nadine Trintignant's career, the filmmaking process has been a family affair. One of her early credits, Of Fleshand Blood, for which she served as the editor, was directed and coscripted by her brother, actor-director Christian Marquand, and features another brother, actor Serge Marquand, in a supporting role. Trintignant's husband, from whom she separated during the 1970s, was actor-director Jean-Louis Trintignant; he frequently appeared in her films, beginning with a starring role in her debut feature, My Love, My Love. Their daughter, actress Marie Trintignant, was a regular in her mother's films, first appearing as a nine-year-old in It Only Happens to Others. Little brother Vincent and Marie play the two children who are the focus of First Voyage, while L'Insoumise, a television movie that is one of Nadine Trintignant's more recent credits, is scripted by mother and son.

Trintignant's films explore the issues of trust and devotion within families and relationships. They occasionally examine the fragility of new romances, and how they are doomed by a lack of communication. But in the majority of her work, her concerns are the quandaries existing within family structures, from the impact of infidelities on both sides of marital relationships to the manner in which couples deal with life-and-death crises to the way in which children respond to the actions or fates of their parents.

After serving her apprenticeship as an editor or coeditor on several films, and directing a short film, Fragilité, ton nom est femme, Trintignant made her debut feature in 1967: My Love, My Love, a romantic drama about a young pop-singer wannabe who is having an affair with an idealistic architect; she becomes pregnant, but does not inform her lover. The relationship ends, and it remains unclear if the woman has an abortion. Trintignant's follow-up, The Crime Thief, is a based-on-fact account of a drab, henpecked husband who observes a woman commit suicide. In order to gain attention, he claims responsibility for her death; eventually, he does in fact kill a young model. Murder also is of consequence in Forbidden to Know; among its characters is a woman charged with murdering her lover.

Trintignant's first truly intimate family-oriented feature is It Only Happens to Others, which chronicles the death of an eighteen-month-old girl and its impact on her anguished parents. In the film, Trintignant "does capture precise, perceptive moments of mood and nuance," and has "produced a bittersweet drama out of grief that may be imperfect but is intellectually adult and sometimes, like life itself, touching," commented A.H. Weiler in the New York Times. The Honeymoon Trip is the story of a married couple who go on a second honeymoon, at which point their various infidelities are revealed. First Voyage charts the plight of two siblings whose mother abruptly dies and who set out in search of their father, who had abandoned them years earlier.

Next Summer is a generational portrait of a large, diverse family. At its center is a couple with six children, who break up because of the husband's faithlessness but are reunited at the finale; during the course of the story, the various family members must evaluate their lives and face up to their inadequacies. The movie focuses on the lives of the women in the family, including the middle-aged mother; eldest daughter, Dino, who is in her thirties; and twenty-year-old Sidonie. "Through these individuals, the movie explores the love relationships of three generations of women, and the familial love that sustains them," commentedNew York Times reviewer Nina Darnton. Over the course of the story, the women realize that they have been victimized by their subservient relationship to men. When they are brought together again by the father's health crisis, the women finally gain the strength to overcome their own difficulties. Darnton observed that the film "falls into an odd category for a film made in the 1980's, when the fire of the women's liberation movement is no longer fanned to so bright a flame. It is an unabashedly feminist statement."

The House of Jade follows the relationship between an older woman and younger man; the woman's earlier marriage ended because of her inability to become a mother and her commitment to her writing career, and her current romance is doomed when her lover resolves to also have a family. Runaways is the story of two young women who both have had harsh relations with men, and who meet and become fast friends. One is on her way to see her estranged father as she escapes an unhappy home life with her mother. Upon her drowning, the other takes over her identity.

Even when her films fit into genres—Forbidden to Know is a suspense drama about an ambulance-chasing lawyer battling political chicanery; Runaways is part female buddy movie, part psychological drama—the manner in which Trintignant's characters respond to familial dilemmas plays a key role in her scenarios. Beyond the fact that she casts family members in her films, quite a few clearly are autobiographical. It Only Happens to Others, one of Trintignant's most deeply personal film, is based on a real-life occurrence in the lives of the filmmaker and her husband when their young daughter Pauline died at age nine in 1970. The Honeymoon Trip, meanwhile, is based on another incident in their marriage, while the characters in Next Summer are modeled after those in Trintignant's family.

As they explore deeply imbedded emotions, Trintignant's films observe the flow of everyday life. This is reflected in the choice she made for her participation in Lumière and Company, an homage to the art of cinema, in which forty-odd filmmakers contribute fifty-two-second-long ‘movies" shot with an original Lumière camera. Trintignant places her camera on a primitive dolly and glides it along an urban setting in which she captures an image of people sitting, standing, and walking in front of several buildings and water fountains. There may be strength in the image of the architecture, but the primary components to the shot are the people, and the panorama of life she records.

Already no stranger to tragedy, Trintignant again suffered the loss of a child when her daughter, Marie, who had appeared in many of her films, was savagely beaten to death in the summer of 2003. At age forty-one, Marie Trintignant died in August, 2003, from injuries received at the hand of her companion, French rock star Bertrand Cantat, lead singer of the iconic French group Noir Désir (Black Desire). The event caused a media sensation throughout France that summer, as details of the crime emerged. Marie Trintignant had been on location in Vilnius, Lithuania, starring in a film being made by her mother about the life of French literary star Colette. During an argument fueled by jealousy, alcohol, and drugs, Cantat struck Marie Trintignant at least four times in the face and head, causing fatal injuries, reported Liza Klaussmann in Variety Online. In 2004, Cantat was convicted of Trintignant's death and sentenced to eight years in prison—a sentence that her family thought too light, but which they eventually decided not to appeal. In aNew York Times article, writer John Tagliabue remarked on a deep irony of the case, reporting on a French population that was "stunned that a love affair between performers who so publicly embraced pacifist causes could end so violently." Cantat was particularly enamored of "good causes." "His heart bled for Palestinians, whales, and the sans papiers, the illegal immigrants in France," noted Theodore Dalrymple in the National Review. "He did not hesitate to turn publicly on the hand that fed him handsomely, accusing the company that had made him a millionaire many times over of exploitation." Dalrymple encapsulated the frustration and shock of many observers of the case when he wrote that Cantat "found it far easier, and no doubt more important, to evince concern about the whole world in the abstract than to behave decently toward the woman in his bedroom."

In the aftermath of her daughter's death, Nadine Trintignant decided to finish the Colette film—all important scenes of Marie as the novelist had already been filmed—in "memory of her daughter," Tagliabue reported. She also wrote a book, Ma fille, Marie, as a tribute couched in terms of a letter to Marie. In what Dalrymple called a "moving short book," Trintignant addresses her dead daughter, taking the blame for not recognizing Cantat's violent tendencies, expressing deep regret and anger over Marie's death. "What is striking about her book, which is obviously sincere, is that she makes no attempt in it to distance herself, by intellectualization, from her natural and very deep feelings," Dalrymple observed. Ultimately, Dalrymple sympathized with Trintignant and the deep, raw emotions expressed in her book. "Could the mother of any daughter beaten mercilessly to death by her jealous lover feel otherwise?" he asked.



National Review, December 8, 2003, Theodore Dalrymple, "When Crime Hits Home, Pretensions Fall Away—Even in France," review of Ma fille, Marie, p. 29.

New Republic, September 8, 1986, Stanley Kauffmann, review of Next Summer, p. 26.

New York Times, October 9, 1971, A.H. Weiler, "It Only Happens to Others Bows"; August 15, 1986, Nina Darnton, review of Next Summer; August 5, 2003, John Tagliabue, "Brutal Death of an Actress Is France's Summertime Drama."


Internet Movie Database, (July 22, 2006), biography of Nadine Trintignant and list of credits.

Variety Online, (October 30, 1995), Derek Elley, review of Runaways; (March 30, 2004), Liza Klaussmann, "Cantat Sentenced to Eight Years."

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Trintignant, Nadine 1934-

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