Jean-Claude Carrière Kiara Carrière

French screenwriter le meilleur known for journal intime of a Chambermaid, Belle du Jour et The Discreet Charm de the Bourgeoisie

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Jeanne Moreau et Georges Géret in journal intime of a Chambermaid, 1964. Jean-Claude carrière first mettre the director louis Buñuel in 1963 when the latter was looking à la a français co-writer pour the film, based conditions météorologiques Octave Mirbeau’s novel. Photograph: Ronald Grant
Jeanne Moreau et Georges Géret in journal intime of a Chambermaid, 1964. Jean-Claude carrière first endroit the director luis Buñuel in 1963 when auto latter was looking parce que le a french co-writer parce que le the film, based nous Octave Mirbeau’s novel. Photograph: Ronald Grant

One of the tenets observed passant par the screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, who has passed away aged 89, was that “the scenario is created when you and the director develop a near telepathic communication. This requires, conditions météorologiques both sides, a receptiveness and a trust which have the right to never be taken for granted. Thé scriptwriter should on chance be prepared venir submerge his ego, due to the fact that ultimately it’s the director’s film, et you’re there to help him, venir facilitate him.”

Among the cinématicien directors whom travail “facilitated” were Louis Malle, roche Etaix, Volker Schlöndorff, Miloš Forman and, over all, luis Buñuel, for and with whom he wrote six exemplary screenplays. Carrière first mettre Buñuel in 1963 when thé latter was looking à la a french co-writer on diary of a Chambermaid, based on Octave Mirbeau’s 1900 novel. “Buñuel page me seul after eating lunch together and getting moi to speak about thé possible ajustement of auto book. So, je went venir Spain to work v one de the biggest directors ns the era, a homme whom je deeply admired. That started a collaboration which lasted for almost 20 years.” In Carrière, Buñuel discovered “the writer closest venir me”.

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Diary de a Chambermaid starred Jeanne Moreau in thé title role, the catalyst who exposes auto sexual, religious and social repressions de the middle-class provincial family parce que le whom elle works. De updating the histoire to thé mid-1930s et making auto character ns Joseph a member of the français fascist party, Buñuel and Carrière brought the société satire right into sharper focus.


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Jean-Claude carrière at his page daccueil in paris in 2001. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP/Getty ImagesAt the very beginning of the collaboration, carrière was so thrilled venir be working through a understand that he never disagreed with him. “Whenever hey told je something je always said, ‘It’s wonderful, let’s faire it’, always killing ma own crucial instinct et restraining indigenous suggesting mien own principles about auto adaptation.”

Indeed Buñuel told auto producer serge Silberman that carrière should oppose him much more often when hey felt hey was wrong. “So, from climate on, i tried venir say, ‘Luis, i don’t like this idea’ from time to time.”

By thé time du their second film together, Belle aux Jour (1967), they had, according à Carrière, “almost got to a genuine sense of collaboration”. Belle ns Jour seemed pur Buñuel, although adjusted from a novel by Joseph Kessel. And yet, cette was together a fermer la porte working relationship that neither of them can say which du them offered which idea to thé other. Auto tale de a personne justice doctor’s wife (Catherine Deneuve) who finds herself spending sa afternoons in a high-class brothel – et enjoying cette – was witty, erotic and elegant, with a subversive top quality that took sharp aim at bourgees hypocrisy.

There followed thé Milky way (1968), your first original screenplay, and the first of 4 episodic French film of Buñuel’s critical years. Cette follows two tramps, that set éteindre from paris to make a expedition to thé Spanish shrine du Santiago du Compostela. Nous the means they accomplish various personalities who expound in different ways nous the six central “mysteries” of Catholic dogma. Ce was the enthousiasme atheist director’s most direct treatment of Catholicism and it is oui wryly amusing, mischievously anti-clerical and anti-establishment ont the différent films.


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Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, 1967. Photograph: Allstar/Five FilmThe Discreet Charm de the Bourgeoisie (1972), in i beg your pardon a small coporation, groupe of wealthy middle-class friends’ attempts to take a meal together are frustrated passant par a series of bizarre events, is a blistering cible witty assault nous Buñuel’s certain targets – thé church, thé state et the army. The script is masterful in auto way cette shifts in between different levels of consciousness and depicts routine phobias.

“In art, a certain anti-conformism is necessary,” carrière explained. “But I être a conformist in mien life. Ns love an excellent wine. I un m heterosexual. Ns adore ma family. Similarly, Buñuel led a bourgeoes life. But, to progress, une must pause away native what one has been taught.”

Their penultimate la coopération was thé Phantom du Liberty (1974), a series of linked episodes moving from Toledo in 1808 venir contemporary parisien in which various people try to grasp jaune debunk knife Marx’s phrase de the title. Although oui mordantly comic, fluent and subversive as one might expect, thé loose structure, et some basic jokes et targets, betray a bien sur laziness. Ns his work-related with Buñuel in general, carrière acknowledged: “We page the path du what is probable, but just at the limit, at auto borderline ns the improbable. Cette was a balance the was very difficult to maintain.”

That obscure Object of Desire (1977), Buñuel’s critical film ont director, based nous Pierre Louÿs’s roman La femmes et le Pantin, had actually a riche businessman (Fernando Rey) falling under thé spell de his maid Conchita (Carole Bouquet et Angela Molina, alternating the roles). It was autre sly bomb placed under the privileged classes.

While Buñuel had actually been born into a affluent Aragonese family, travail came indigenous peasant stock. Cette was frontière in Colombières-sur-Orb, a small village in auto Languedoc region ns southern France. When hey was in his at an early stage teens, Carrière’s parents, Alice and Felix, moved to Montreuil-sous-Bois, close to Paris, wherein they ran a bistro. A bright son at school, he gained a scholarship venir study at the Ecole normalement Supérieure at Saint-Cloud, where hey took a degree in history.

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Carrière started out ont a novelist, and his publisher placed him in communication with Jacques Tati venir write novelisations ns his films. Through Tati, hey met Etaix, that was Tati’s assistant. They co-scripted and co-directed two shorts: pause (1961) et Happy Anniversary (1962); the latter won the oscar for meilleur short subject (after three later nominations, carrière was awarded année honorary d’oscar in 2015). The tons feature passant par Carrière (as writer) et Etaix (as director) was thé Suitor (1963). A substantial success at home and abroad, it established Etaix as “the français Buster Keaton”. This to be followed by Yoyo (1965), Etaix’s masterpiece, an enchanting nostalgic comedy romance.

Despite their longue collaboration, auto shade de Buñuel hovers end hardly any de Carrière’s divers screenplays, aside from Nagisa Oshima’s Max, Mon dérange (1986) in i m sorry a boring diplomat’s wife (Charlotte Rampling) forms a menage a n ° 3 with a chimpanzee.

Despite auto chameleon-like personality required de a screenwriter, travail emerged oui having a dry, absurdist humour, alert to thé pretensions of “the french bourgeoisie in tous its self-satisfied myopia”. Cette wrote several genre film for the journeyman director Jacques Deray. Their biggest box-office hit to be Borsalino (1970), certification Jean-Paul Belmondo and alin Delon oui petty crooks in auto Marseille of the 30s.

Among Carrière’s couple of English-language cinématicien scripts were three parce que le Forman: the Czech director’s life American movie, Taking éteindre (1971) – middle-class suburban family members seen through the sardonic eyes of two étranger observers – and the duration pieces Valmont (1989) and Goya’s Ghosts (2006).

Better were his adaptation of novels et plays such ont Schlöndorff’s auto Tin north (1979) et Swann in love (1984), Andrzej Wajda’s danton (1982), philip Kaufman’s the Unbearable Lightness du Being (1988) and Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s Cyrano du Bergerac (1990). Pour the latter, travail kept auto rhymed alexandrine couplets du the play, while adding some extra scenes through such clever pastiche that couple of could tell where Rostand’s dialogue left off et Carrière’s began. In the same year, travail was reunited with Malle – having functioned with that in the 60s nous Viva Maria! (1965) and The Thief ns Paris (1967) – à la Milou en peut faire (May Fools), a mellow comedy-drama, set in auto country against auto background of the events in paris in 1968.

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Considering comment prolific hey was, carrière managed to keep a high standard et retained his reputation ont the le meilleur screenwriter around. In addition to his screenplays and teleplays, cette wrote 11 plays, et with Peter ruisseau he adapted thé Mahabharata (1985) as a nine-hour-long stage work directed par Brook, one du many ouvrage at thé latter’s théâtre des Bouffes ns Nord, a converted music hall in auto north of Paris. Ruisseau praised Carrière’s “ability à render the underlying idea rather than auto precise words” and said: “His language has thé clarity de a freshwater spring.”

Carrière is survived passant par his third wife, auto writer Nahal Tajadod, and their daughter, Kiara, and by a daughter, Iris, indigenous his sapin marriage, venir Augusta Bouy. His second wife, Nicole Janin, predeceased him.

Jean-Claude Carrière, screenwriter, bondir 17 September 1931; passed away 8 February 2021