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Claude Lelouch

Claude Lelouch

Many filmgoers in America got their first taste of a French film from the biggest hit of Claude Lelouch's career: A Man and a Woman (1966), a visually innovative and romantic tale of a race car driver (Jean-Louis Trintingnant) and a script girl (Anouk Aimee), both widowed, who fall in love. The film won Lelouch enormous popularity with not just French and American viewers, but with audiences around the globe. It won the Palme D'or at Cannes that year, as well as an Oscar for Best Foreign Film and for Best Original Screenplay (Lelouch with Pierrre Uytterhoeven).

Lelouch's next film, Live for Life (1967), was about a news reporter (Yves Montand) who leaves his wife (Annie Girardot) and his two mistresses for an American fashion model (Candice Bergen). Another success, the film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

Lelouch next focused on capital punishment in Life, Love, Death (1969) and then did a crime film, The Crook (1971), before returning to romance with Love is a Funny Thing (1969), And Now My Love (1975), which was Oscar-nominated for Best Screenplay), and Another Man, Another Chance (1977), a sort-of western version of A Man and a Woman, set in the 1870s and starring James Caan and Genevieve Bujold.

Lelouch continued in this vein with Bolero (1981), Edith and Marcel (1983), A Man and a Woman: Twenty Years Later (1986), which re-teamed Aimee and Trintignant; and Bandits (1987), a lighthearted romantic comedy about jewel thieves. Lelouch also contributed to Far From Vietnam (1967) along with six other directors (including Jean Luc Godard), and directed The Losers segment of the omnibus film Visions of Eight (1973).

After shooting And Now Ladies & Gentlemen, Lelouch directed one of eleven segments in an ensemble film about the September 11th tragedy called 11.09.01. Each short film, which lasts exactly 11 minutes and 9 seconds, sought to convey a different regional or cultural impression of the tragedy. The other contributors include Sean Penn, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Ken Loach, Shohei Imamura, Danis Tanovic, Youssef Chahine, Idrissa Quedraogo, Amos Gitai, Mira Nair and Samira Makhmalbaf.

Always on the move and just back from Kabul, Lelouch has already planned his next film The Human Genre, one that he has been dreaming over the past forty years. It is planned to be a trilogy that will recount the tales of ordinary people to whom extraordinary things happen. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in September for The Parisians. Two other films are scheduled to follow next year.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Claude Lelouch Facts

OccupationDirector
BirthdayOctober 30, 1937 (79)
SignScorpio
BirthplaceFrance

Selected Filmography

Roman de Gare
A Man and a Woman
Toute Une Vie
A Man & A Woman
C'etait un Rendezvous
And Now, Ladies & Gentlemen
Visions of Eight
And Now Ladies & Gentlemen
Far From Vietnam
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