From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Cédric Klapisch is an acclaimed French film director born September 4th, 1961 in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris. He studied cinema in France at university, and, at the age of 23, attended New York University for two years to continue his cinematic education. During the 1980's he started to shoot short films such as In transit or Ce qui me meut. After this he worked as a scriptwriter and he became a director for more mainstream films. He has also directed a nature documentary for French television.
Klapisch was born into a Jewish, yet very atheist, family. His maternal grandparents were deported to Auschwitz. In 1992 he shot his first feature film entitled Riens du tout, which had few spectators but was well received by critics. One year later, a TV channel asked him to make a film about a college in 1995 called Le péril jeune. It was a very small budget film starring Romain Duris and Vincent Elbaz, who would become two of his favourite actors. Due to its success when broadcast on TV, the film was released in the theaters two years later.
During the 90's he also made three short films to encourage the use of the condoms in combating AIDS, which are La chambre, Le Poisson Rouge and Le Ramoneur des Lilas. In 1996 he shot Chacun cherche son chat (When the Cat's Away), a neighbourhood story in Paris, and at the same time he prepared an adaptation of a French theatre comedy Un air de famille. Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri, the two scriptwriters and main actors, asked him to adapt the play for cinema. He accepted and sold 2.5 million tickets, and the film got one César Award for the script and two others for the male and female supporting parts, which were played by Catherine Frot and Jean-Pierre Daroussin.
At the same time, his popularity did not enable him to find the funds to shoot a major motion picture, which he had already been writing for several years. However, he found a producer and made his film, Peut-être (Maybe), in 1999 with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Romain Duris with Vincent Elbaz once again. The film was not as successful as some of his past endeavors, and did not satisfy the producers.
Next he wrote a whodunnit, Ni pour, ni contre (bien au contraire), but the beginning of the shooting was delayed four months. During this period Cedric Klapisch decided to shoot another project with a ridiculously low budget in Spain. This work, called L'Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment), sold 3 million tickets and became his greatest success.
In 2005, he filmed the sequel to L'Auberge Espagnole, Les Poupées Russes (The Russian Dolls), with many of the same actors from L'Auberge Espagnole. This film was another great success with audiences and critics. His most recent film, Paris, was released in February 2008.
Cedric Klapisch is recognized as a famous director mainly for the way of filming the gestures and nuances of daily life. One of his fetish actors, Zinedine Soualem, who plays in 5 of his films, says that Klapisch films the gestures that people do not notice. Klapisch is also reputed for giving an important role to sound and music in his films.
Filmography as director
- Ce qui me meut (1988)
- Riens du tout (1992)
- Le péril jeune (1994)
- Poisson rouge (1994)
- La chambre (1994)
- Le Ramoneur des Lilas (1995)
- Lumière et compagnie (1995)
- When the Cat's Away (1996)
- Un air de famille (1996)
- Peut-être (1999)
- L'auberge espagnole (2001)
- Ni pour, ni contre (bien au contraire) (2002)
- The Russian Dolls (2004)
- Paris (2008)