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Benoît Jacquot Biography

  • Profession: Director, Screenwriter
  • Born: Feb 5, 1947
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Despite being a somewhat elliptical figure who has remained a relative unknown outside of his native France, film director Benoît Jacquot has still managed to garner a devoted following. Jacquot's visually stylized films often explore the innermost impulses of his fellow man (and woman), and his gift for storytelling came close to earning the filmmaker a global audience with the release of his intimate 1996 drama [[Feature~V135646~A Single Girl~asinglegirl]].

A Paris native, Jacquot first found work in the film industry at 18 as an assistant director to such noted filmmakers as [[Performer~P159901~Marguerite Duras~margueriteduras]] and [[Performer~P108391~Jacques Rivette~jacquesrivette]]. His work with the seasoned veterans provided the up-and-coming director with invaluable experience. An extended collaboration with the Institut National d'Audiovisual that began in 1970 found Jacquot helming documentaries on [[Performer~P314507~J.D. Salinger~jdsalinger]] and mentor [[Performer~P159901~Duras~margueriteduras]], among other notable figures in film and literature, and in 1975, he made his feature debut with [[Feature~V155950~L'Assassin Musicien~lassassinmusicien]]. Jacquot frequently alternated between film and television work in the following years, and the release of such features as the absorbing 1990 adolescent drama [[Feature~V143476~The Disenchanted~thedisenchanted]] found Jacquot's skills as a dramatist developing strongly. On the small screen, the director made a name for himself by adapting novels by such literary giants as [[Performer~P317055~Henry James~henryjames]] and [[Performer~P217647~Franz Kafka~franzkafka]]. By the time 1996 rolled around, few could doubt Jacquot's skills as a filmmaker, but his voice had yet to make an impact outside of France. All of that would change with the release of his seventh film, [[Feature~V135646~A Single Girl~asinglegirl]] (1996). A voyeuristic, real-time drama concerning a recently pregnant girl faced with a dead-end job and an aloof boyfriend, the film proved a powerhouse showcase for young star [[Performer~P196708~Virginie Ledoyen~virginieledoyen]] and offered Jacquot his breakthrough feature.

With the subsequent releases of [[Feature~V162455~The School of Flesh~theschoolofflesh]] (1998) and [[Feature~V180689~Keep It Quiet~pasdescandale]] (1999, both starring French screen legend [[Performer~P34067~Isabelle Huppert~isabellehuppert]]) in the following years, Jacquot drew praise from audiences at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. He once again teamed with [[Performer~P34067~Huppert~isabellehuppert]] in 2000 for the drama [[Feature~V201744~La Fausse Suivante~lafaussesuivante]]. That same year, his take on the life of the Marquis de Sade, [[Feature~V212224~Sade~sade]], was unfairly overshadowed by the art-house hit [[Feature~V220939~Quills~quills]] (which featured a scene-stealing performance by Australian actor [[Performer~P151418~Geoffrey Rush~geoffreyrush]] as the Marquis). Jacquot masterfully adapted the opera Tosca for the screen in 2001, and directed seldom-seen screen beauty [[Performer~P374~Isabelle Adjani~isabelleadjani]] in 2002's [[Feature~V273386~Adolphe~adolphe]]. The following year, he took on the story of the friendship between Sigmund Freud and a female French psycho-analyst, played by [[Performer~P18574~Catherine Deneuve~catherinedeneuve]], in the television production Marie Bonaparte. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi