The Top Directors Working Today: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Man I love the worlds created by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. His camera floats, darts and zooms in on anything it pleases, finding merriment and magic from unlikely sources. Most every Great director has a stamp of authorship, and it only takes a few minutes to realize you're swimming in Jeunet's pool.

Looking through his filmography, I realize that I only really liked 2 of his films. (DELICATESSEN and AMELIE) I find that his storytelling could benefit with more focus, a tighter grip. But I wouldn't think of missing anything he makes... and I'm talking Big Screen, baby. His name on a film doesn't guarantee Greatness, but I have no doubt that he's a Great filmmaker.

[NOTE: It's worth mentioning that 2 of his films were co-directed with Marc Caro, but I think the films that followed continued to speak volumes about his skill.]

According to the poll I posted on Filmspotting...

25% think he's Great director but wouldn't put him in the Top 10.
20% think he's very good, not quite Great.
40% think he's worth mentioning
10% think he's good, but don't think he'll ever be Great.
5% see nothing special about his directing.

I'll never forget the first time I saw anything by Jeunet. It was the trailer for Delicatessen, which was the scene where everyone is doing everything to the same rhythm. The audience applauded after it, the first time I had seen that happen for a movie that wasn't an anticipated blockbuster.

I think A Very Long Engagement was really good, probably one of the better forgotten films of this decade.

I think his more recent efforts lack the edge that Marc Caro brought to his earlier films. It's a dynamic I miss and one I think would have made helped make Alien Resurrection a better film. I'm not a huge fan of his light-hearted, cuddly style.


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