Jean-Jacques Beineix died Thursday, at the age of 75 years, announced this Friday his brother Jean-Claude. He died at his home in Paris, “following a long illness”.
The director was one of the big names in “cinema du look”, this movement of the French Seventh Art years 1970 where aesthetics prevailed over naturalism. Revealed by the movie Diva in 1981, it reached a more wide notoriety in 1989 with 37°2 le matin, a cult feature film adapted from the novel by Philippe Djian.
Born in October 1946 in the capital, Jean-Jacques Beineix began his career as assistant director to Jean Becker on the series The Holy Darlings in 1970. Diva, his first feature film as a director, is a musical thriller featuring the relationship between a postman and a soprano. Bright colors, pop art inspirations, slick image… The work already shows aesthetic choices that will make the mark of the filmmaker – some critics then spoke, pejoratively, of “advertising” aesthetics.
The box “37°2”
His second film, The Moon in the Gutter, shot at Cinecittà, the famous Roman film studios, was in competition for the Palme d’Or 1983, but, exhausted on the Croisette, it will end in public failure.
It’s with °2 in the morning in 1986, that he had his greatest success. That year, more than 3.6 million people went to see the ardent and tragic love story between Jean-Hugues Anglade and Béatrice Dalle, a real revelation.
The public was not, however, at the rendezvous of his three following films – the last of his filmography – Roselyne and the lions, IP5: The Island of Pachyderms and Mortel Transfer, respectively released in 1989, 1992 and 2006.
“A big slap in the face”
Jean- Jacques Beineix had stopped the cinema at the beginning of the years 2000. “At the same time, I achieve a feat and at the same time I take a big slap in the face. Well, that’s been it all the time, my life at the cinema, “he summarized to Franceinfo in 2020, explaining that the very poor reception in Cannes of The Moon in the gutter was an “injury”: “What made me stop today, it started there. ”
If he made some incursions into the documentary (“Children of Romania”, “Place Clichy without complexes”…) under the banner of his production company, Cargos Films, these twenty years, he had mainly turned to writing. In 1989, he delivered his autobiography, The Building Sites of Glory: Memoirs , after writing the two volumes of the comic strip The Affair of the Century. Two years ago, Michel Lafon published his first (and only) novel, Toboggan. The story of “the fall of a character who has lost faith in humanity”.