Oscar Directors: Lelouch, Claude (Oscar Winner, A Man and a Woman)–Background, Career, Awards

Research in Progress (April 13, 2021)

Claude Barruck Joseph Lelouch (French: born October 30, 1937) is a French film director, writer, cinematographer, actor and producer.

Lelouch was born in the 9th arrondissement of Paris to Charlotte (née Abeilard) and Simon Lelouch.

His father was born to an Algerian Jewish family while his mother was a convert to Judaism.

Lelouch’s first contact with cinema was at young age: “My mother hid me in movie theaters when I was little. We were wanted by the Gestapo. […] Cinema, for starters, saved my life.”

Of his personal faith, he says “Today I believe in God. My faith was sparked when I made a film in Israel. Over there, it is impossible not to believe in God. I loved the places of worship of all the religions. Everything which happens is for the best. I sometimes have the feeling that my inspiration comes from heaven. I think it is wonderful to be Jewish.”

His father bought him a camera as a fresh start after his failure in the baccalaureat. He started his career with a reportage – one of the first to film daily life in the Soviet Union, with the camera hidden under his coat as he made personal journey.

He also filmed sporting events, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Tour de France.

His first full-length film as director, Le Propre de l’homme, was decried by the critics: “Claude Lelouch, remember this name well, because you will not hear it again” – Cahiers du cinéma said.

La femme spectacle (1963), following prostitutes, women shopping, going for nose-jobs, was censored for its misogynist tendency.

A Man and a Woman changed his fortunes and was met with favor even by the Cahiers group.

The 1981 musical epic Les Uns et les Autres is widely considered as his masterpiece, and his credits now add up to 50 or so films.

His 1976 film, C’était un rendez-vous features a Ferrari 275 GTB being driven at extreme speed through the streets of Paris at dawn. The entire short is shot from the point of view of the car.

He collaborated more than two dozen times with composer Francis Lai. They scored a great hit with the theme song for the film A Man and a Woman sung by Nicole Croisille and Pierre Barouh, and more than 300 versions of the song exist.

In 1993 he was the President of the Jury at the 18th Moscow Film Festival.

In 2020 Lelouch filmed his own modern ‘remake’ of his 1976 short film (with Ferrari) C’était un rendez-vous entitled Le Grand Rendez-vous, set in Monaco instead of Paris and starring Monegasque racing driver Charles Leclerc. Filming for the new version took place on the Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2020 and features Leclerc driving a Ferrari SF90 Stradale. It was released on 13 June 2020.

The film was criticized by The Verge as ‘lifeless.’ Top Gear’s Chris Harris said on Twitter this version was ‘lazy and badly executed.’

2016 ; Commander in the Order of the Crown.
2005 Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman won the Palme d’Or at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, as well as two Oscars including Best Foreign Language Film.

His 1967 film Vivre pour vivre was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

In 1971, he won the David di Donatello for Best Foreign Directing for Le Voyou.

Quand le rideau se lève (1957)
Le propre de l’homme (1960)
L’Amour avec des si (1962)
La Femme spectacle (1963)
Une fille et des fusils (1964)
Les Grands Moments (1965)
Pour Un Maillot Jaune (1965)
A Man and a Woman (1966)
Vivre pour vivre (1967)
La Vie, l’amour, la mort (1968)
13 jours en France (1968)
Un Homme qui me plaît (1969)
Le Voyou (1970)
Smic, Smac, Smoc (1971)
L’aventure c’est l’aventure (1972)
La bonne année (1973)
Visions of Eight (1973)
Mariage (1974)
Toute une vie (1974)
Le Bon et les méchants (1975)
Le Chat et la souris (1975)
C’était un rendez-vous (1976)
Si c’était à refaire (1976)
Un autre homme, une autre chance (1977)
Robert et Robert (1978)
À nous deux (1979)
Les Uns et les Autres (1981)
Édith et Marcel (1982)
Viva la vie (1983)
Partir, revenir (1984)
Attention bandits! (1986)
Un homme et une femme : vingt ans déjà (1986)
Itinéraire d’un enfant gâté (1988)
Il y a des jours… et des lunes (1989)
La Belle Histoire (1992)
Tout ça… pour ça ! (1992)
Les Misérables (1995)
Lumière et compagnie (1995)
Hommes, femmes, mode d’emploi (1996)
Hasards ou coïncidences (1997)
Une pour toutes (1999)
And now… Ladies and Gentlemen (2001)
11’09″01 September 11 (2002; segment “France”)
Les Parisiens (2004)
Le Courage d’aimer (2005)
Roman de Gare (2007; he also appears as “Hervé Picard”, a pseudonym)
Ces amours là (2010)
D’un film à l’autre (2011)
Salaud, on t’aime (2014)
Un plus une (2015)
Chacun sa vie et son intime conviction (2017)
The Best Years of a Life (2019)[17]
Le Grand Rendez-vous (2020) ( A modern ‘remake’ of C’était un rendez-vous set in Monaco starring racing driver Charles Leclerc)