The French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix, who notably signed “Diva” and “37°2 in the morning” in the 80s, died Friday at the age of 75, his family told AFP.

Evocation by Hugues Dayez in our 7:30 p.m.:

Popular in the 80s

A poetic and aesthetic director, he was awarded the César for best first work in 1982 for “Diva” (1980). His first projects lead him to advertising. In particular, he will produce the multi-broadcast fight against AIDS spot “It will not pass by me”. After several projects, he decides to leave the industry.

“It’s good to put your talent at the service of causes” and advertising, “it was not causes”, he will explain. Its aesthetics will remain very marked by advertising, which its detractors will reproach it for.

First of all assistant director for Jean Becker, Claude Berri or Claude Zidi at the turn of the 70s, it is Diva which propelled him to the forefront of the cinematic scene.

His cult film, “37°2 in the morning” (1986), an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Philippe Djian, had been nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film in 1987. A work which revealed the actress Béatrice Dalle and won wide acclaim in France and abroad, but was shunned by the Caesars.

Seen by 3.6 million viewers, it has since achieved cult film status. Story of torrid and destructive passion between two flayed alive overtaken by madness, Betty and Zorg, interpreted by Béatrice Dalle, then unknown, and Jean-Hugues Anglade, the film is an adaptation of the novel of the same title by Philippe Djian. Nominated nine times for the Césars, “37°2 le matin” was nominated for the Oscar for best foreign film.

Trailer for 37°2 in the Morning (1986)

5 images

French director and actor Philippe Noiret, in 1989 © AFP or licensors

Beineix and Jacques Chirac, in 1995 © All rights reserved

With the actress Béatrice Dalle, in 2006 © All rights reserved

Montand’s last role

Other works, like “The Moon in the Gutter” (1983) and “Roselyn and the Lions” (1989) were commercial failures. In 1992, Jean-Jacques Beineix offered his last role to Yves Montand, who died during filming, in “IP5, the island of pachyderms”.

Touch all

His last movie, Mortal Transfer, in 2001, will meet neither the public nor the critics. This Parisian, who was also a writer, dialogue writer and screenwriter (of comics, in particular) will then turn to TV documentaries or theatrical staging.

Committed director, the creator of the production company Cargo Films, did not mince his words. As in this excerpt from 2008 where he castigates the Chinese authorities:

Reactions from the film industry

“Zorg and Betty are orphans”, reacted on Instagram Béatrice Dalle, remembering the shooting as one “of the most beautiful pages of my life”. “I love you”, she wrote again for the late director.

The actress Romane Bohringer, whose father Richard had obtained one of his first film roles in “Diva”, also wanted to say “thank you” to the director: “This film has in fact changed our lives and marked my childhood. I keep a dazzled memory of it”.

Beineix had “a grit, a style, a method, the grand assurance of the stubborn”, greeted the former president of the Cannes Film Festival Gilles Jacob.
Gaumont and the Académie des César paid tribute to him on Twitter. “He was the filmmaker of a whole generation and had abdicated in front of the gap which he considered to have dug between him and the cinema. We nevertheless owe him very great films”, reacted the Sacd (Society of dramatic authors and composers) on social networks.

“Diva” Trailer


Sign of the eclecticism of Jean-Jacques Beineix, the director and former porn actress, who has become a feminist activist, Ovidie, said she was very “saddened” by the death of the one who had “put her on track” by producing her first documentary, before they fell out.

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