Jean-Jacques Beineix

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Jean-Jacques Beineix
Beineix in 1989
Born(1946-10-08)8 October 1946
Paris, France
Died13 January 2022(2022-01-13) (aged 75)
Paris, France
OccupationFilm director
Years active1977–2022

Jean-Jacques Beineix (French: [bɛnɛks]; 8 October 1946 – 13 January 2022) was a French film director best known for the films Diva and Betty Blue. His work is regarded as a prime example of the cinéma du look film movement in France.

Early life and education[edit]

Jean-Jacques Beineix was the son of Robert Beineix, director of an insurance company, and wife Madeleine Maréchal. He was a student at both the Lycée Carnot and Lycée Condorcet in Paris. After earning his secondary baccalaureat, he enrolled in medical school,[1] but dropped out after the events of May 1968. He took the competitive entrance exam for the Paris film school Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC), but failed it (his final rank was 21st).[2]


Jean-Jacques Beineix began his career in 1964 as Jean Becker's assistant director on the popular French TV series Les Saintes chéries [fr]. He remained with the series for three years. In 1970, he worked for Claude Berri and, the following year, for Claude Zidi. In 1972, he was second assistant director on the Jerry Lewis drama The Day the Clown Cried.[3]

In 1977, Beineix directed his first short movie, Le Chien de M. Michel, which won first prize at the Trouville Festival.[4] In 1980, Beineix directed his first feature film, Diva, which received four Césars.[5] The film was also entered in the 12th Moscow International Film Festival.[6] Diva is considered the first film of what was later described as the cinéma du look.[7][8] Film critic Ginette Vincendeau described the films made by Beineix and others as "youth-oriented films with high production values.... The look of the cinéma du look refers to the films' high investment in non-naturalistic, self-conscious aesthetics, notably intense colours and lighting effects. Their spectacular (studio based) and technically brilliant mise-en-scène is usually put to the service of romantic plots." The cinéma du look also included the films of Luc Besson and Léos Carax.[9]

His second feature, Moon in the Gutter, was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1983 Cannes Festival. Nominated for three Césars in 1984, it would win one award in the Best Production Design category.[10]

In 1986, Beineix directed Betty Blue (original title: 37°2 le matin), in which Béatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade starred. In 1987, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar,[11] in the same category as that year’s British Academy Film Awards[12] and Golden Globes.[13] It won the 1986 Montréal World Film Festival’s Grand Prix des Amériques and Most Popular Film awards[14] and, in 1987, the Boston Society of Film Critics award for best foreign language film.[15] It also received the Best Poster award, one of nine Césars for which it was nominated.[16] Beineix directed Roselyne et les lions in 1989,[17] IP5: L'île aux pachydermes in 1992,[17] and Mortel Transfert in 2001.[18] The 1992 Seattle International Film Festival awarded Beineix its Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director for both Betty Blue and IP5: L'île aux pachydermes.[19]

Jean-Jacques Beineix, Étoiles d'or du cinéma français, (February 2009)

In 1984 Beineix formed his own production company, Cargo Films, in order to retain his artistic independence.[20] Betty Blue (37°2 le matin) was his first film produced by Cargo, and he became executive producer of all its projects. The company produces feature films and documentaries on a wide variety of themes from science to art, to women’s rights and social problems. He worked in partnership with national scientific organizations such as CNES and CNRS to produce documentaries.[21]

In 2008, Beineix directed a corporate film for CNRS, 2 infinities (L2i). It was shown at the October 2008 New York Imagine Science film festival.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Beineix was married to his wife, Agnès. He has one child, daughter Frida, from his previous relationship with actress Valentina Sauca.[3]

In 2006, Beineix published a first volume of his autobiography, Les Chantiers de la gloire (in French only). The title alluded to the French title of Stanley Kubrick's film Les Sentiers de la gloire (Paths of Glory).[23]

Beineix died from leukaemia at his home in Paris on 13 January 2022, at the age of 75.[24][8][25]



  1. ^ Jacques Lafitte; Stephen Taylor (2003). Who's Who in France. J. Lafitte. p. 218.
  2. ^ Parent, Denis (1989). Jean-Jacques Beineix, version originale (in French). Barrault-Studio. p. 178.
  3. ^ a b Gilbey, Ryan (16 January 2022). "Jean-Jacques Beineix obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Jean-Jacques Beineix". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  5. ^ Schruers, Fred (13 June 1982). "Creating the Dazzle of 'Diva'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 January 2022. Jean-Jacques Beineix, at 36, is a filmmaker who is being well rewarded for his 10-year apprenticeship. ... "Diva," his debut, won four Cesars (the French equivalent of the Oscar), including Best First Film.
  6. ^ "12th Moscow International Film Festival (1981)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  7. ^ Bassan, Raphaël (2007). "The French Neo-baroque Directors: Beineix, Besson, Carax, from Diva to Le Grand Bleu". In Powrie, Phil; Hayward, Susan (eds.). The Films of Luc Besson: Master of Spectacle. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 11–23. ISBN 978-0-7190-7028-0.
  8. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (3 February 2022). "Jean-Jacques Beineix, 'Cinema du Look' Director, Dies at 75". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  9. ^ Powrie, Phil (2001). Jean-Jacques Beineix. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p.1. ISBN 9780719055331.
  10. ^ "The Moon in the Gutter (1983) - Jean-Jacques Beineix | Awards | AllMovie".
  11. ^ "The 59th Academy Awards | 1987". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  12. ^ "1987 Film Foreign Language Film". BAFTA Awards. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Betty Blue - Golden Globes Awards - 1987 Nominee". Golden Globe Awards. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  14. ^ "French Film 'Betty Blues' Wins Top Award at Montreal Festival". Los Angeles Times. 3 September 1986.
  15. ^ Carr, Jay (12 January 1987). "'Blue' movies dominate Boston critics awards". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  16. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (14 January 2022). "Jean-Jacques Beineix: The French auteur who brought style and substance". The Guardian.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Jean-Jacques Beneix". BFI. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Mortel Transfert (2001) - JP Box office". Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Golden Space Needle History 1990–1999".
  20. ^ "Jean-Jacques Beineix: unpicking the sexy, stylish visuals of cinéma du look". Hero Magazine. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Jean-Jacques Beineix et le CNRS". CNRS. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  22. ^ "ISSF 2008". ISSF. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  23. ^ Beineix, Jean-Jacques (11 December 2022). Les Chantiers de la gloire (in French). Fayard.
  24. ^ "Jean-Jacques Beineix, le réalisateur de « 37°2 le matin », est mort". Le Monde (in French). 14 January 2022. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  25. ^ "Jean-Jacques Beineix obituary". The Times. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Mort de Jean-Jacques Beineix : Le réalisateur était-il malade ?" (in French). February 2022.
  27. ^ "Place Clichy... Sans complexe de Jean-Jacques Beineix - (1994) - Documentaire" (in French).

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