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Born: Paris, France, 25 January 1955.

Olivier Assayas (JPG, 12 KB)

One of France's most gifted young filmmakers, Olivier Assayas studied at l'École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Knowing from childhood that he wanted to make movies (his father was a screenwriter in the pre-new wave era), Olivier believed that literature, painting, and drawing would be better preparation for making films that going to film school. Throughout the early 1980s he was a critic for the prestigious journal Cahiers du Cinéma, served on the journal's editorial board, and wrote screenplays for such directors as Laurent Perrin and André Téchiné. His earliest efforts at directing were four shorts completed between 1979 and 1985 and his first feature, Désordre, enjoyed a brief period as a cult classic after its release in France in 1986. What people responded to in this debut film was Olivier's portrayal of his characters' emotions and his exceptional stylization: "He makes an event out of every shape and spatial configuration that crosses his camera's field of vision. But each move, each colour, each visual rush is firmly connected to his characters." (Kent Jones)

National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.)

Désordre / Disorder (France 1986)
L'Enfant de l'hiver / Winter's Child (France 1989)
Paris s'éveille / Paris at Dawn (France 1991)
Une Nouvelle vie / A New Life (France 1993)
L'Eau froide / Cold Water (France 1994)
Irma Vep (France 1996)
Cinéma de notre temps: Hou Hsiao-Hsien / HHH: A Portrait of Hou Hsiao-Hsien (France/Taiwan 1997, documentary, video)
Fin août, début septembre / Late August, Early September (France 1999)

Internet Movie Database
Interview by Steve Erickson
Zeitgeist Films: Late August, Early September: Olivier Assayas

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This page was last updated on 23 July 2000.