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Jean-Claude Carrière

Jean-Claude Carrière

A quietly influential force in art cinema throughout the second half of the twentieth century and beyond, screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (also an author, actor, opera librettist, and occasional director) has collaborated with such important screen artists as Luis Buñuel, Milos Forman, Jean-Luc Godard, Philip Kaufman, Louis Malle, Nagisa Oshima, Volker Schlöndorff, and Andrzej Wajda. He got his start working with the comic filmmaker Pierre Etaix on the Oscar-winning slapstick short Happy Anniversary (1962), which the two codirected; Carrière would go on to cowrite all of Etaix’s 1960s features. Meanwhile, Buñuel enlisted Carrière to cowrite 1964’s Diary of a Chambermaid, the beginning of a grand partnership that would also result in increasingly surreal visions like Belle de jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977). (In 2012, Carrière said of working with Buñuel, “How we mixed together is impossible to say. One started an idea, the other finished it.”) As is clear from those productions, he has a way with the absurd, but the versatile and erudite Carrière is also a keen literary adapter, translating such daunting novels as The Tin Drum and The Unbearable Lightness of Being into formidable films. Carrière’s career continues to take surprising turns: he has a small but crucial role in Abbas Kiarostami’s 2010 Certified Copy, for example.