Carriere, Jean–Claude 1931–

views updated May 29 2018

CARRIERE, JeanClaude 1931


Born September 17 (some sources say September 19), 1931, in ColombieressurOrbes (some sources say Languedoc), France; son of Felix (a farmer) and Alice Carriere; married Nicole (a painter and interior decorator), December 27, 1952; children: Iris.

Addresses: Contact The Lantz Office, 200 West 57th St., Suite 503, New York, NY 10019.

Career: Screenwriter, actor, producer, and director. Head of the French film school FEMIS, 1986; conductor of writing and directing workshops.

Awards, Honors: Academy Award (with Pierre Etaix), best short film, 1962, for Heureux anniversaire; Best Picture Prize (with Luis Bunuel), Venice International Film Festival, 1967, for Belle de jour; Grand Prize of the Jury, best short film, and Golden Palm Award nomination, best short film, both Cannes Film Festival, 1969, for La pince a ongles; Edgar Award nomination (with others), best motion picture, Edgar Allan Poe Awards, 1971, for Borsalino; Academy Award (with Bunuel), best foreign film, Academy Award nomination (with Bunuel), best screenplay based on material from another medium, and Film Award (with Bunuel), best original screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1972, all for Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie; Writers Guild of America Screen Award nomination (with others), best comedy written directly for the screen, Film Award nomination (with others), best screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1972, both for Taking Off; Academy Award nomination (with Bunuel), best screenplay based on material from another medium, 1977, Cesar Award nomination (with Bunuel), best writingoriginal or adaptation, 1978, both for Cet obscure objet du desir; Best Picture Prize (with Volker Schloendorff, Franz Seitz, and Gunter Grass), Cannes Film Festival, 1979, and Academy Award (with Schloendorff, Seitz, and Grass), best foreign film, 1980, both for The Tin Drum; Cesar Award nomination, best writingadaptation, 1983, for Danton; Cesar Award (with Daniel Vigne), 1982, for Le retour de Martin Guerre; Film Award (with Philip Kaufman), best adapted screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1988, Academy Award nomination (with Kaufman), best adapted screenplay, Writers Guild of America Screen Award nomination (with Kaufman), best screenplay based on material from another medium, 1989, all for The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Best Screenplay Award (with Peter Fleischmann), Catalonian International Film Festival, 1990, for Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein; Cesar Award nomination (with JeanPaul Rappeneau), best writingoriginal or adaptation, Film Award nomination (with Rappeneau), best adapted screenplay, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1992, both for Cyrano de Bergerac; Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement, 2000.


Film Appearances:

Insomnie, 1963.

The priest, Le journal d'une femme de chambre (also known as Il diario di una cameriera, The Diary of a Chambermaid, and Diary of a Chambermaid ), Cocinor, 1964.

Narrator, Les cocardiers, 1967.

Priscillian, La voie lactee (also known as La via lattea, Die Milchstrasse, and The Milky Way ), UM, 1969.

Hughes, L'alliance (also known as The Wedding Ring ), CAPAC, 1970.

Francois, Nathalie's husband, Un peu de soleil dans l'eau froide (also known as A Little Sun in Cold Water, Un attimo d'amore, A Few Hours of Sunlight, Un po' di sole nell'acqua gelida, and Sunlight on Cold Water ), Societe Nouvelle de Cinema, 1971.

La chute d'un corps, 1973.

Chief, Serieux comme le plaisir (also known as Serious as Pleasure ), Lugo, 1974.

Le jardin des supplices (also known as The Garden of Torment ), New Realm Distributors/Parafrance, 1976.

Luc, Le jeu du solitaire (also known as The Game of Solitaire ), 1976.

Doctor, Photo Souvenir, FR3, 1977.

Le conseiller, Julie pot de colle (also known as Julie Gluepot ), 1977 Fournier, Chaussette surprise (also known as Boum a l'hosto and Surprise Sock ), 1978.

Psychiatrist, Ils sont grands ces petits (also known as These Kids Are GrownUps, C'est la faute a papa, Si je suis comme ca c'est la faute a papa, and When I Was a Kid, I Didn't Dare ), United Artists/Exportation Francaise Cinematographique, 1979.

Le professeur, L'amour nu, 1981.

Le sourdmuet, Vive les femmes!, 1984.

The Governor, The Night and the Moment (also known as La nuit et le moment and La notte e il momento ), 1994.

Professor, Jaya Ganga (also known as Java fille du Gange ), Kismet Talkies, 1996.

Himself, Les paradoxes de Bunuel, 1997.

El mismo, A proposito de Bunuel (also known as A propos de Bunuel, Regarding Bunuel, and Speaking of Bunuel ), 2000.

David Goldman, Bunuel y la mesa rey Salomon (also known as Bunuel and King Solomon's Table ), 2001.

Pierre Raymond, Tajnata kniga, 2003.

Film Director:

(With Pierre Etaix), Rupture (short film), 1961.

(With Etaix), Heureux anniversaire (short film; also known as Happy Anniversary ), 1961.

La pince a ongles (short film; also known as The Nail Clippers ), 1968.

(With Jerome DiamantBerger and Olivier Assayas) L'unique (also known as The One and Only ), AA Revcon/Films du Scorpion, 1985.

Film Producer:

Heureux anniversaire (short film; also known as Happy Anniversary ), 1961.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Eliphas, La double vie de Theophraste Longuet, 1981.

Cesar Pouyabere, L'ecarteur, 1982.

Narrator, Bouvard et Pecuchet, 1989.

Narrator, Eugenie Grandet, 1993.

Le ministre, Madame de ... (also known as I gioielli di Madame ), 2001.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

L'homme de la nuit, 1983.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Milos Forman: Portrait, PBS, 1989.

Himself, Bunuel en Hollywood, 2001.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Himself, Ombre et lumiere, 2001.

Also appeared as le commissaire de police, "A la memoire d'un ange," Sueurs froides.



L'aidememoire, produced in Paris, 1968, then on Broadway as The Little Black Book, 1972, translation by Jerome Kilty published by Samuel French, c. 1973.

(With Colin Higgins) Harold and Maude, produced 1971.

Le xlient (also known as The Customer ), produced in Paris, 1971.

(With Peter Brook and Marius Constant) La tragedie de Carmen (opera; abridgement of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen ), produced in New York City, 1983, published by Centre International de Creations Theatrales (Paris), 1981.

The Conference of the Birds, published by Dramatic Publishing (Chicago, IL), 1982.

(With Bernard Slade) La fille sur la banquette arriere, published by L'Avant Scene, 1983.

(Adaptor; with Peter Brook) The Mahabharata, produced at New Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, 1987, published by Harper, c. 1987.

La terrasse, produced at Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II, New York City, 1999.

Also adaptor of The Cherry Orchard; Timon of Athens; Measure for Measure; and The Tempest.


(With Pierre Etaix) Rupture (short film), 1961.

(With Etaix) Heureux anniversaire (short film; also known as Happy Anniversary ), 1961.

(With Etaix) Nous n'irons plus au bois, 1963, rereleased as Tant qu'on a la sante, 1965.

(With Etaix) Insomnie, 1963.

(With Etaix) Le soupirant (also known as The Suitor ), Atlantic, 1963.

La reine verte (also known as The Green Queen ), 1964.

(With Luis Bunuel) Le journal d'une femme de chambre (also known as Il diario di una cameriera, Diary of a Chambermaid, and The Diary of a Chambermaid ), Cocinor, 1964.

(With Louis Malle) Viva Maria!, United Artists, 1965.

(With Etaix) Yo Yo (also known as Yoyo ), Magna, 1965.

Le bestiaire d'amour (also known as The Lair of Love ), 1965.

(With Jesus Franco) Miss Muerte (also known as Dans les griffes du maniaque, The Diabolique Dr. Z, Le diabolique docteur Z, Miss Death, Miss Death and Dr. Z in the Grip of the Maniac, and The Diabolical Dr. Z ), U.S. Films, 1966.

(With Peter Glenville) Hotel Paradiso, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1966.

Tant qu'on a la sante (also known as As Long As You're Healthy ), 1966.

Cartes sur table (also known as Attack of the Robots and Cartas boca arriba ), American International, 1967.

(With Malle) Le voleur (also known as The Thief of Paris and The Thief ), Lopert, 1967.

(With Bunuel) Belle de jour (also known as Bella di giorno ), Allied Artists, 1968.

La pince a ongles (short film; also known as The Nail Clippers ), 1968.

Le grand amour (also known as The Great Love ), 1968.

(With Bunuel) La voie lactee (also known as La via lattea, Die Milchstrasse, and The Milky Way ), UM, 1969.

(With JohnEmmanuel Conil and Jacques Deray) La piscine (also known as La piscina and The Swimming Pool ), 1969, released in the United States by Avco Embassy, 1970.

(With Christian De Chalonge) L'alliance (also known as The Wedding Ring ), CAPAC, 1970.

(With Jean Cau, Claude Sautet, and Deray) Borsalino, Paramount, 1970.

(With Milos Forman, John Guare, and John Klein) Taking Off, Universal, 1971.

Un peu de soleil dans l'eau froide (also known as A Little Sun in Cold Water, Un attimo d'amore, A Few Hours of Sunlight, Po' di sole nell'acqua gelida, and Sunlight on Cold Water ), Societe Nouvelle de Cinema, 1971.

(With Francoise Xenakis, Jean Bolvary, and Eric Le Hung) Le droit d'aimer (also known as The Right to Love, Brainwashed, and Il diritto d'amare ), Twentieth CenturyFox/Lira Films, 1972.

(With Bunuel) Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (also known as The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, El discreto encanto de la burguesia, and Il fascino discreto della borghesia ), Twentieth CenturyFox/Castle Hill, 1972, published in AvantScene, April, 1973.

(With Deray and Ian McLellen Hunter) Un homme est mort (also known as A Man Is Dead, Funerale a Los Angeles, and The Outside Man ), Valoria, 1972, released in the United States by United Artists, 1973.

(With Marco Ferreri) La cagna (also known as Love to Eternity and Melampo ), 1972, released in the United States as Liza, CFDC/Pathe/Oceanic/Sirius, 1976.

(With Bunuel) Le moine (also known as The Monk and Il monaco ), Maya, 1973.

(With Peter Fleischmann) Dorothea's Rache (also known as Dorothea's Revenge and Dorothea ), Planfilm, 1973.

Grandeur nature (also known as Life Size (Grandezza naturale), Life Size, Love Doll, and Tamano natural ), 1973.

(With JeanClaude Brialy) Un amour de pluie (also known as A Rainy Love, Loving in the Rain, Male d'amore, and Sommerliebelei ), Lira, 1974.

(With Bunuel) Le fantome de la liberte (also known as The Phantom of Liberty, Il fantasma della liberta, and The Specter of Freedom ), Twentieth CenturyFox, 1974.

(With Robert Benayoun) Serieux comme le plaisir (also known as Serious as Pleasure ), Lugo, 1974.

(With Patrice Chereau) La chair de l'orchidee (also known as The Flesh of the Orchid, Das Fleisch der Orchidee, Flesh and the Orchid, and Un'orchidea rosso sangue ), FoxLira, 1974.

France societe anonyme (also known as France Incorporated, French Anonymity Society, and France Inc. ), Albina, 1974.

La femme aux bottes rouges (also known as The Lady with Red Boots, La mujer con botas rojas, La raga-zza con gli stivali rossi, and La ragazza dagli stivali rossi ), 1974.

(With Martin Walser) La faille (also known as The Weak Spot, Der dritte grad, and La smagliatura ), Gaumont, 1975.

(With Jean Curtelin and Joel Santoni) Les oeufs brouilles (also known as The Scrambled Eggs ), Columbia/Warner Distributors, 1975.

(With Bunuel, Philippe Nuridzany, Pierre Maintigneux, and Clement Biddle Wood) Leonor, CIC/New Line Cinema, 1975.

(With Alphonse Boudard) Le gang (also known as The Gang and La gang del parigino ), Warner Bros., 1976.

(With Bunuel) Cet obscur objet du desir (also known as That Obscure Object of Desire and Ese oscuro objeto del deseo ), CCFC/Greenwich/Janus, 1976, released in the United States by First Artists, 1977.

(With Pierre Lary and Huguette Debasieux) Le diable dans la boite (also known as The Devil in the Box ), Madeleine/Societe Novelle de Cinema, 1977.

Julie pot de colle (also known as Julie Glue Pot ), Davis/Societe Nouvelle Prodis, 1977.

(With Edmond Sechan) Photo Souvenir, FR3, 1977.

(With Tonino Guerra) Un papillon sur l'epaule (also known as A Butterfly on the Shoulder ), Gaumont, 1978.

(With JeanFrancois Davy) Chaussette surprise (also known as Surprise Sock and Boum a l'hosto ), GEF/CCFC/Albatros, 1978.

(With Daniel Boulanger and Joel Santoni) Ils sont grands ces petits (also known as These Kids Are GrownUps, C'est la faute a papa, Si je suis comme ca c'est la faute a papa, and When I Was a Kid, I Didn't Dare ), United Artists/Exportation Francaise Cinematographique, 1979.

(With Rene Gainville) L'associe (also known as The Associate and Mein Partner Davis ), Columbia/Warner Distributors, 1979.

(With Claude Pinoteau and Charles Israel) L'homme en colere (also known as The Angry Man and Jigsaw ), Films Ariane/United Artists, 1979.

(With Volker Schloendorff, Franz Seitz, and Gunter Grass) The Tin Drum (adapted from Grass's book of the same title; also known as Die Blechtrommel, Blaszany bebenek, and Le tambour ), United Artists/New World, 1979.

(With JeanFrancois Adam, Georges Perec, and Benoit Jacquot) Retour a la bienaimee (also known as Return to the Beloved ), Societe Nouvelle Prodis/World Marketing, 1979.

Slachtvee, 1979.

(With JeanLuc Godard and AnneMarie Mieville) Sauve qui peut la vie (also known as Everyone for Himself, Rette sich, wer kann, Every Man for Himself, and Slow Motion ), Artifical Eye/MK2/New Yorker, 1980.

(With Volker Schloendorff, Margarethe Von Trotta, and Kai Hermann) Die Faelschung (also known as Circle of Deceit, Le faussaire, and False Witness ), United International/United Artists Classics, 1981.

Black Mirror (also known as Haute surveillance ), 1981.

(With Carlos Saura) Antonieta, Gaumont/Conacina/Nuevo Cine, 1982.

(With Christian Drillaud) Itineraire bis (also known as Sideroads ), Films de l'Arquebuse, 1982.

L'indiscretion (also known as The Indiscretion ), 1982.

(With Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland, Boleslaw Michalek, and Jacek Gasiorowski) Danton, Triumph, 1983.

(With Daniel Vigne) Le retour de Martin Guerre (also known as The Return of Martin Guerre ), European International, 1983.

(With Luciano Tovoli and Michel Piccoli) Le general de l'armee morte (also known as The General of the Dead Army, L'armata ritorna, and Il generale dell'armata morte ), World Marketing/Union Generale Cinematographique, 1983.

(With Marius Constant and Peter Brook) La tragedie de Carmen (also known as The Tragedy of Carmen and Die Tragoedie der Carmen ), British Film Institute/MK2, 1983.

(With Volker Schloendorff, Brook, and MarieHelen Estienne) Un amour de Swann (also known as Swann in Love, Swann's Way, Eine Liebe von Swann, and Remembrance of Things Past ), Orion Classics, 1984.

La jeune fille et l'enfer (also known as The Young Girl and Hell and La joven y la tentacion ), Orphee Arts/Exportation Francaise Cinematographique, 1984.

(With Jerome DiamantBerger, Olivier Assayas, and Jacques Dorfman) L'unique (also known as The One and Only and The Original ), AA Revcon/Films du Scorpion, 1985.

Auto defense, 1985.

(With Nagisa Oshima) Max mon amour (also known as Max, My Love and Makkusu, mon amuru ), Greenwich/AAA, 1986.

(Adapter) La derniere image (also known as alCoura alakhira and Last Image ), 1986.

(With Peter Fleischmann and Gianfranco Mingozzi) Les exploits d'un jeune Don Juan (also known as The Exploits of a Young Don Juan and L'iniziazione ), Exportation Francaise/AAA, 1987.

(With Wajda, Holland, and Edward Zebrowsky) Les possedes (also known as The Possessed ), Gaumont International, 1987.

Hard to Be a God (also known as Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein, Trudno Byt Bogom, and Un dieu re-belle ), 1988.

(With Nicholas Klotz) La nuit Bengali (also known as Bengali Nights and The Bengali Night ), Gaumont International, 1988.

(With Philip Kaufman) The Unbearable Lightness of Being (adapted from Milan Kundera's book of the same title), Orion, 1988.

(With Jerzy Kawlerowicz) Hostage of Europe, La Societe CineAlliance, 1989.

J'ecris dans l'espace (also known as I Write in Space and Vite et loin ), 1989.

(With Peter Fleischman) Jeniec Europy, 1989.

(With Milos Forman) Valmont, Orion Classics, 1989.

(With JeanPaul Rappeneau) Cyrano de Bergerac, Orion Classics, 1990.

(With Malle) Milou en mai (also known as May Fools, Milou a maggio, and Milou in May ), Orion Classics, 1990.

(With Brook and Estienne) The Mahabharata, Reiner Moritz, 1990.

(With Hector Babenco) At Play in the Fields of the Lord (also known as Brincando nos campos do senhor ), Universal, 1991.

Le retour de Casanova (also known as The Return of Casanova and Casanova's Return ), 1992.

L'otage de l'Europe, 1992.

Sommersby (from the original screenplay La retour de Martin Guerre ), Warner Bros., 1993.

The Night and the Moment (also known as La notte e il momento and La nuit et le moment ), 1994.

Le hussard sur le toit (also known as The Horseman on the Roof ), 1995, released in the United States by Miramax Zoe Films, 1995.

The Ogre (also known as Der Unhold and Le roi des aulnes ), 1996.

Golden Boy, 1996.

Chinese Box, Trimark Pictures, 1997.

Les paradoxes de Bunuel, 1997.

The Dicing, 1998.

La guerre dans le HautPays (also known as War in the Highlands ), Rezo Films, 1998.

(Uncredited) Broken Dolls, 1999.

Salsa (also known as Salsa! ), 2000.

Television Movies:

Le Franctireur, 1978.

(French adapter) Harold et Maud, 1978.

(French adapter) Mesure pour mesure, 1979.

Lundi, 1980.

Le bouffon, 1981.

La double vie de Theophraste Longuet, 1981.

Je tue il (also known as I Kill He ), 1982.

(French adapter) La cerisaie, 1982.

L'accompagnateur, 1982.

(Adapter) Les secrets de la princesse de Cadignan, 1982.

Le jardinier recalcitrant, 1983.

L'aidememoire, 1984.

Les etonnements d'un couple moderne, 1985.

Bouvard et Pecuchet, 1989.

Une femme tranquille (also known as Silent Woman ), 1989.

La controverse de Valladvoid, 1992.

(Adapter) La duchesse de Langeais, 1995.

Une femme explosive, 1996.

Clarissa (also known as ClarissaTraenen der Zaertlichkeit ), 1998.

(Adapter) Berenice, 2000.

Madame de ... (also known as I gioielli di Madame ), 2001.

Adapter Lettre d'une inconnue (also known as Brief einer Unbekannten ), 2001.

La bataille d'Hernani, 2002.

Ruy Blas, 2002.

Television Miniseries:

Associations de bienfaiteurs, 1994.

Les Thibault, 2003.

Television Specials:

(Adapter) The Mahabharata, Channel Four, 1989.

Television Episodes:

Robinson Crusoe (also known as The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe ), 1965.


Le lezard, 1957.

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (novelization of the film), 1959.

L'alliance, 1963.

Mon oncle (novelization of the film), 1972.

(Translator) Le clou brulant, 1972.

Le pari, 1973.

(Translator) Harold et Maude, 1974.

Le carnaval et la politique, 1979.

(Translator) The Mahabharata, Harper and Row, 1987.

Also authored (with Daniel Vigne) Le retour de Martin Guerre (novelization of film); contributor to journals and periodicals.


The film Chinese Box was adapted by Carriere from his original story and released in 1997; the film The Bunuel Paradox was adapted from an idea of Carriere's and released in 1997.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 4: Writers and Production Artists, St. James Press, 1996.


Variety, March 31, 2003, p. 20.

Carrière, Jean-Claude

views updated May 29 2018

CARRIÈRE, Jean-Claude

Writer. Nationality: French. Born: Colombières, 19 (or 17) September 1931. Career: Often worked with the director Luis Buñuel, as well as Jacques Deray, Pierre Etaix, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, and Volker Schlöndorff; 1968—directed short La Pince à ongles; 1985—directed feature L'Unique. Awards: Best Short Subject—Live Action Academy Award, for Heureux anniversaire, 1961; Best Screenplay British Academy Award, for Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie, 1972; Best Writing—Original Cesar Award, for Le Retour de Martin Guerre, 1982; Best Adapted Screenplay British Academy Award, for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 1988; Catalonian International Film Festival Best Screenplay, for At Play in the Fields of the Lord, 1990; Writers Guild of America Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement, 2000.

Films as Writer/Co-writer:


Rupture (+ co-d—short); Heureux anniversaire (+ co-d, pr—short)


Le Soupirant (The Suitor) (Etaix)


Nous n'irons plus au bois (Etaix; expanded into Tant qu'on a la santé, 1965); Insomnie (Etaix) (+ ro); Le Bestaire d'amour (Calderon); Le Journal d'une femme de chambre (The Diary of a Chambermaid) (Buñuel) (+ ro as The Priest)


Yoyo (Etaix); La Reine verte (The Green Queen) (Mazoyer)


Viva Maria! (Malle); Cartes sur table (Franco)


Belle de jour (Buñuel); Miss Muerte (The Diabolical Dr. Z) (Franco); Hotel Paradiso (Glenville)


Le Voleur (The Thief of Paris) (Malle)


La Pince à ongles (+ d—short); La Piscine (The Swimming Pool) (Deray); Le Grand Amour (Etaix)


La Voie Lactée (The Milky Way) (Buñuel) (+ ro as Priscillian)


L'Alliance (de Chalonge) (+ ro as Hugues); Taking Off (Forman); Borsalino (Deray)


Un Peu de soleil dans l'eau froide (Deray) (+ ro)


La cagna (Liza) (Ferreri); Le Moine (The Monk) (Kyrou); Le Droit d'aimer (Le Hung); Un Homme est mort (The Outside Man) (Deray); Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) (Buñuel)


France S.A. (France Société anonyme) (Corneau)


Dorotheas Rache (Fleischmann); Grandeur nature (Life Size) (Berlanga); La Fantôme de la liberté (The Phantom of Liberty) (Buñuel); La Chair de l'orchidée (Chereau); La Femme aux bottes rouges (J. Buñuel); Sérieux comme le plaisir (Benayoun) (+ ro)


Leonor (J. Buñuel); Les Oeufs brouillés (Santoni); La Faille (Fleischmann)


Le Gang (Deray)


Julie Pot de Colle (de Broca); Le Diable dans la boîte (Lary); Cet obscur objet de désir (That Obscure Object of Desire) (Buñuel)


Photo souvenir (Sechan) (+ ro); Un Papillon sur l'épaule (Deray); Chausette surprise (Surprise Sock) (Davy) (+ ro as Fournier) (Davy)


Ils sont grands ces petits (These Kids Are Grown-Ups) (Santoni); L'Associé (The Associate) (Gainville); Le Tambour (The Tin Drum) (Schlöndorff)


Die Falschung (Circle of Deceit) (Schlöndorff)


Danton (Wajda); Le Retour de Martin Guerre (The Return of Martin Guerre) (Vigne)


Un Amour de Swann (Swann in Love) (Schlöndorff); La Tragédie de Carmen (The Tragedy of Carmen) (Brook)


Max mon amour (Max, My Love) (Oshima); Wolf at the Door (Carlsen)


Les Exploits d'un jeune Don-Juan (Mingozzi); Les Possédés (The Possessed) (Wajda)


The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kaufman); La Nuit bengali (Klotz)


Valmont (Forman); Hard to Be a God (Fleischmann); J'écris dans l'éspace (Etaix); The Mahabharata


Cyrano de Bergerac (Rappeneau); At Play in the Fields of the Lord (Babenco); Milou en mai (May Fools) (Malle)


Bouvard et Pecuchet (Verhaeghe—for TV) (+ ro as Narrator)


La Controverse de Valladolid (Verhaeghe—for TV); Le Retour de Casanova (Casanova's Return) (Niermans)


Sommersby (Amiel) (based on Le Retour de Martin Guerre; sc)


Le hussard sur le toit (The Horseman on the Roof) (Rappeneau); The Night and the Moment (Tato) (+ ro as The Governor); La Duchesse de Langeais (Verhaeghe—for TV); Associations de bienfaiteurs (Verhaeghe—mini for TV)


Le roi des aulnes (The Ogre) (Schlöndorff); Capitaine Cyrano (Failevic)


Une femme explosive (Deray—for TV)


Chinese Box (Wang) (+ co-story)


La Guerre dans le Haut Pays (War in the Highlands) (Reusser); Attaville, le veritable histoire des fourmis (Calderon) (commentary only); Clarissa (Deray—for TV)


Salsa (Joyce Buñuel)

Other Films:


Le jardin des supplices (Gion) (ro)


Vive les femmes! (Confortes) (ro as Le sourd-muet)


Eugenie Grandet (Verhaeghe—for TV) (ro as Narrator)


By CARRIÈRE: books—

Lézard, Paris, 1957.

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (novelization), London, 1959.

L'Alliance, Paris, 1963.

L'Aide-mémoire, Paris, 1968.

With Luis Buñuel, La Moine, Paris, 1971.

Mon Oncle (novelization), London, 1972.

(Translator) Le Clou brûlant, by José Bergamin, Paris, 1972.

With Luis Buñuel, Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie (script), in Avant-Scène (Paris), April 1973.

La Pari, Paris, 1973.

(Translator) Harold et Maude, by Colin Higgins, Paris, 1974.

With Daniel Vigne, Le Retour de Martin Guerre, Paris, 1982.

Credo, Paris, 1983.

With Jean Audouze and Michel Cassé, Conversations sur l'invisible, Paris, 1988.

Les mots et la chose, Paris, 1990.

La paix des braves, Paris, 1991.

Le Mahabharata, Paris, 1992.

La Controverse de Valladolid, Paris, 1993.

The Secret Language of Film, New York, 1994.

Simon Le Mage, Paris, 1994.

With H. H., le Dalaï-Lama, La force du buddhisme, Paris, 1995.

With Jean Audouze, Régards sur le visible, Paris, 1996.

By CARRIÈRE: articles—

Cinéma (Paris), February 1965.

Positif (Paris), July 1966.

Jeune Cinéma (Paris), September 1968.

Positif (Paris), March 1969.

Cinéma (Paris), July/August 1970.

Kosmorama (Copenhagen), December 1970.

Cinémonde (Paris), March 1971.

In Les scénaristes au travail, by Christian Salé, Paris, 1981.

Cinéaste (Paris), vol. 13, no. 1, 1983.

"Luis Buñuel," in Cinéma (Paris), September 1983.

Avant-Scène (Paris), February 1984.

Cinématographe (Paris), February 1984.

Technicien du Film (Paris), October/November 1984.

Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), May 1985.

American Film (Washington, D.C.), December 1985.

24 Images (Montreal), Autumn 1986.

Cinéma (Paris), 1 October 1986.

Revue Belge du Cinéma (Brussels), Winter 1986.

CinémAction (Conde-sur-Noireau), no. 44, June 1987.

Skrien (Amsterdam), no. 164, February/March 1989.

Cinéma (Paris), May 1990.

Interview by Vincent Amiel, in Positif (Paris), October 1993.

Interview by Omid Rohani, in Film International (Tehran), Winter 1993.

Interview by Pierre Beylot and Raphaëlle Moine, in Cinemaction (Paris), March 1996.

Interview with I. Wiese, in Z Filmtidsskrift (Oslo), no. 3, 1996.

On CARRIÈRE: articles—

Focus on Film (London), Spring 1975.

Focus on Film (London), Summer 1975.

Focus on Film (London), Winter 1975–76.

Positif (Paris), December 1977/January 1978.

Film Français (Paris), 3 February 1978.

Télérama (Paris), 13–19 July 1985.

Millard, Kathryn, "Henri and Georgette Go Writing," in Film News (Sydney), April 1995.

* * *

As a screenwriter, Jean-Claude Carrière is still best known for his association with Luis Buñuel, with whom he collaborated regularly from Le Journal d'une femme de chambre onwards. Yet of all his screenplays, only six (or seven if one counts Le Moine, eventually directed by Ado Kyrou) were written for Buñuel. To date, Carrière has produced well over 80 screenplays and teleplays for a long and prestigious list of directors that includes Malle, Schlöndorff, Wajda, Forman, Godard, Oshima, Philip Kaufman, Carlos Saura, Hector Babenco, Wayne Wang, and Pierre Etaix. He also writes for the stage (most notably for Peter Brook's international theater company); he has written novels, and has occasionally acted and directed.

Unlike many prolific scenarists, though, Carrière rarely lapses into lazy or slipshod writing, and the overall standard of his work has remained consistently high. Nor, despite his literary background, does his dialogue feel overwritten or stilted. He himself, while wary of laying down rules and guidelines, maintains that a screenwriter should above all aim for clarity and avoid self-indulgence. "Good dialogue doesn't draw attention to itself," he has observed. "You penetrate it without effort. It's like the sound of a mill to the miller; he only hears it when it stops."

Carrière took up screenwriting at a time when the New Wave filmmakers, reacting against the confined, studio-bound style of the "cinéma de qualité," were also rejecting the rigid tyranny of the traditional script. Carrière entirely concurred, since he considered the scenario "at once useful and superfluous, simply a stage in the existence and development of a film." A script, he believes, "doesn't stop when it's written, it continues during the shooting and often during the editing." It should be flexible enough to "allow a degree of freedom, not just to the director, but to the actors." At the same time, he expresses reservations about wholly improvisational approaches, which can lead to shapelessness and banality. "I think we have to strike a balance between the script being all-powerful, and it being nonexistent."

The role of improvisation, for Carrière, comes much earlier in the creative process. "The scenario is created when you and the director act it out together, improvising." To achieve this, he tries to establish with his director "a near telepathic communication," which "requires on both sides a receptiveness and a trust which can never be taken for granted. Like all good relationships, it has to be constantly worked at, and shielded against the effects of personal vanity." The scriptwriter must on occasion be prepared to submerge his ego, since ultimately "it's the director's film, and you're there to help him, to facilitate him."

Not that there is anything in the least anonymous about Carrière's work. From his films there emerges a dryly humorous personality, alert to the absurdities of life, profoundly mistrustful of all absolutes and authorities. Having a sharp eye for middle-class ritual, he particularly enjoys prodding at the pretensions of "the French bourgeoisie in all its self-satisfied myopia." Pessimistic but too ironic for tragedy, left-leaning but too skeptical for dogma, Carrière presents a world in which the surreal, the unpremeditated, or simply the spectacle of sheer bloody-minded human resilience, can serve to keep alive an intrigued sense of unexplored potential. "The best quality for a screenwriter," he has remarked, "is an unsatisfied curiosity."

Carrière's unselfishly craftsmanlike approach to screenwriting is exemplified by his work on Cyrano de Bergerac, one of his biggest international hits. Both Carrière and his director, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, were determined, in the teeth of widespread skepticism, to preserve the play's convention of having all the dialogue in rhymed alexandrine couplets. By judiciously pruning Rostand's sometimes clotted verse, adding in a few extra scenes and some fragments of skillful Rostand-pastiche, Carrière produced a script that moved at a smart cinematic pace while staying faithful to the spirit of the original. So faithful, indeed, that even devotees of the play scarcely registered that changes had been made. Carriere also served Rappeneau well in Le hussard sur le toit, which like Cyrano is an energetic, deliciously romantic historical epic. Le hussard is crammed with sweeping, eye-popping imagery; on visual terms, Rappeneau does an especially fine job of contrasting the lushly beautiful French countryside and the deadly dangers confronting his idealistic and honorable Italian aristocrat-soldier-revolutionary hero. Simultaneously, Carriere's smart, literate dialogue propels the story along while keeping the characters lively and engaging.

The subtlety, and the understated ironies, of Carrière's style can on occasion prove self-defeating. In his work with Buñuel, he once explained, "we chose the path of what is probable, but just at the limit, at the borderline of the probable." It is a balance, as he acknowledges, that is "very difficult to maintain," and in some films his writing, perhaps aiming to avoid extravagance, can verge towards over-neatness. What his skilled adaptation of Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being gains in clarity and narrative coherence, it loses in moral complexity and the joy of inconsequentiality. And the straight-faced surrealism of Max mon amour, ill-served by Oshima's literal-minded direction, falls sadly flat.

Some critics have suggested that even Buñuel was rendered "respectable" by his association with Carrière, trading the earthiness and carnality of his earlier Spanish-language movies for French urbanity and sophistication—no longer outraging his bourgeois audiences, but titillating them with pleasurable shocks. But it can equally be argued that in Carrière, whom he called "the writer closest to me," Buñuel found the ideal collaborator in the expression of his cruel, insidious vision, his elegantly austere sensuality. And certainly Carrière achieved in his work with Buñuel a mastery of style and structure that he may subsequently have equaled but has yet to surpass. Had he written nothing else, he would rank high among contemporary screenwriters for these six films alone.

—Philip Kemp, updated by Rob Edelman

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Jean-Claude Carriere

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