Tag Archives: jean-pierre jeunet

Elliot On Jeunet

Trivia question: what was the last episode of Hyphenates in which everyone was in the same room for the recording? The first person to correctly answer wins a set of— no, it's okay, we know you don't care. But for the record, it was the show with Kate Hardie back in April 2016. So it's nice to finally get the band back together, even if the band members have changed.

We were delighted to get Adam Elliot on the show, despite him being waist-deep in drafting the screenplay for what we all hope is his next film. After discussing a variety of eclectic filmmaker possibilities, Adam eventually landed on the great Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

We figured that since we were talking about the films of Jeunet, including the ones he made with collaborator Marc Caro, we may as well resurrect the mini-Hyphenate segment and look at Caro's solo work. So you get two filmmakers for the price of one! Also, give us some money.

Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet in the early 1990s

We also lasso Adam in for the reviews segment even though he'd only seen one of the films we were talking about. We take a look back at Denis Villeneuve's ambitious sequel Blade Runner 2049, check out Taika Waititi's unconventional superhero sequel Thor: Ragnarok, side-eye Terrence Malick's wistful love story Song To Song, and debate George Clooney's dark comedy thriller Suburbicon.

Further reading:

Rochelle, Adam and Lee record this month’s episode… in the same room!

Special thanks to Markus Stone for his help with the recording.

Outro music: score from Amelie (2001), composed by Yann Tiersen

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Adam Elliot talking the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed directly from our website.

Jean-Pierre and Adam at the Mary and Max exhibition in Melbourne’s ACMI

Hell Is For Hyphenates – October 2017

Adam Elliot joins us to talk the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet!

Oscar-winning filmmaker and animator Adam Elliot (Harvie KrumpetMary and MaxErnie Biscuit) is our guest this month, and chats to Rochelle and Lee about some of the key films of October 2017, including Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious sequel Blade Runner 2049 (01:12), Taika Waititi’s unconventional superhero sequel Thor: Ragnarok (13:00), Terrence Malick’s wistful love story Song To Song (17:35), and George Clooney’s dark comedy thriller Suburbicon (22:11).

Then, Adam tells us about his filmmaker of the month, the French writer-director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (26:13). Jeunet’s early years saw him collaborating with Marc Caro, and the pair directed a range of short films together before making the back-to-back classics Delicatessen (1991) and The City of Lost Children (1995). Jeunet then went solo, flirting briefly with Hollywood when he directed the fourth film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Resurrection (1997). He then returned to France to make more personal films such as Amelie (2001) and A Very Long Engagement (2004), as well as Micmacs (2009) and The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet (2013). Adam talks to us about Jeunet’s work and when he first became enamoured by his filmmaking.

We also take a diversion to look at the career of Marc Caro (39:11), and look at what he got up to following his collaboration with Jeunet.

The Jean-Pierre Jeunet Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening's viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…


These doubles that we program for you always work best when a filmmaker has two or more distinct phases to their career, and when each of those phases contains at least one work of total genius. In that spirit, Jean-Pierre Jeunet may have provided us with the material for our greatest cheat sheet to date. Your evening kicks off with The City of Lost Children, the dark futuristic fairytale that Jeunet co-directed with his long-time collaborator Marc Caro. This film about a scientist kidnapping children so he can capture their dreams is terrifying and beautiful and hilarious and one of the most startlingly original works of the 1990s. Once you've watched that, follow it up with Amelie. Jeunet was now flying solo, and created this modern magical romance about a woman who takes it upon herself to improve the lives of everyone around her. In anyone else's hands, this film would be overly twee and painfully quaint, but Jeunet is far too clever for that. Amelie may be sweet and sentimental, but it is decidedly unselfconscious and unafraid to engage with the darker aspects of life and humanity. And it's perfect.

Substitutions: If you can't get or have already seen The City of Lost Children, check out Delicatessen (1991). The first feature from Jeunet and Caro was a post-apocalyptic black comedy that remains as romantic as it is cannibalistic. Dark, funny and original, it remains an absolute must-watch. If you can't get or have already seen Amelie, check out A Very Long Engagement (2004). Whereas Audrey Tatou's Amélie was consumed with creating mysteries, her Mathilde is all about solving them. Following an almost impossible series of clues, Mathilde is determined to discover what happened to her fiancé, thought killed in the trenches of World War One. It's slightly more full-on than Amelie, but retains the beauty, delight and tangents that made the former so successful.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet? Then you should check out Micmacs (2009). If “quirky” hasn't become something of a derogatory term, that's the word we'd use to describe this film about a man with a bullet stuck in his head who falls in with a group of misfits, and with them takes down a pair of international arms dealers. Jeunet himself described it as a cross between Delicatessen and Amelie, so it could also be the perfect film to watch if you only have time for one.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Adam Elliot talking the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, will be released on 31 October 2017.

Our Next Hyphenate Adam Elliot

Filmmaker, Oscar winner, and Hi4H October 2017 guest host Adam Elliot

Ever since a plucky stop-motion animated film from Australia won the 2004 Oscar for Best Animated Short - beating heavy-hitters Disney, Pixar and Blue Sky, no less - its director Adam Elliot has become a fixture of Australian culture. How many other local filmmakers are so recognisable that they get to play themselves in a nationally-broadcast TV commercial?

Adam resisted the lure of Hollywood, and followed up Harvie with the home-grown feature Mary and Max (2009), the story of an unlikely pen pal relationship between a young Australian girl and an anxiety-ridden man in New York. The film featured the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana, and Barry Humphries, and won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Adam then returned to shorts with 2015's Ernie Biscuit, a wonderfully bittersweet black-and-white story of a deaf Parisian taxidermist. He is currently busy on an upcoming project of which we know very little, but whatever it is, we're awaiting it with bated breath.

Of course, all of that pales in comparison to Adam's next role: Hell Is For Hyphenates guest host!

And which filmmaker will Adam be joining us to discuss?

None other than French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet!

Jeunet became known for the feature films he co-directed with regular collaborations Marc Caro: dystopian comedy Delicatessen (1991) and the dark fantasy The City of Lost Children (1995). Both films were instant classics, and the pair was soon courted by Hollywood.

Jeunet was allured by the possibilities of big studio filmmaking, but Caro was not, and the two went their separate ways, with Jeunet directing the fourth instalment of the Alien franchise, Alien: Resurrection (1997). It was a big commercial success, but was critically maligned, and Jeunet soon returned to France. His next film was the unconventional romantic comedy Amelie (2001), a huge hit worldwide, and still one of the most beloved films of the 21st century.

Jeunet went on to direct films such as A Very Long Engagement (2004), Micmacs (2009), and The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet (2013), as well as the 2015 pilot Casanova with Diego Luna for Amazon Studio.

So what it is about Jeunet's films that so delights Adam? Join us on October 31 when we find out!

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Our next filmmaker of the month, Jean-Pierre Jeunet