One of France's most important Post-New Wave directors, André Téchiné has distinguished himself with elegant films that often delve into the complexities of human emotion and relationships. Known particularly for his ability to draw strong performances out of his female performers, Téchiné has collaborated with some of his country's most respected actresses, including Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Jeanne Moreau, and Isabelle Adjani.
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Originally a critic for the legendary Cahiers du Cinéma, Téchiné made his feature directorial debut in 1969 with Pauline S'En Va, which was shown at that year's Venice Film Festival. The film was not actually released until 1975; in the meantime, Téchiné experimented with references to different genres and auteurs in his work. Souvenirs d'en France (1974), which starred Jeanne Moreau as a laundress who works her way up through the social hierarchy, had a distinctly Brechtian imprint, while Barocco (1976), a crime drama starring Isabelle Adjani and Gérard Depardieu, was rooted in expressionist surrealism. Three years later, Téchiné earned acclaim for his attempt at biography, Les Soeurs Bronte. A profile of the famous Bronte sisters, it starred Isabelle Huppert and Adjani, and was screened in competition at Cannes.
Téchiné subsequently continued to make moody, dysfunctional romantic dramas that were often tinged with an element of intrigue or violence. Some of the best examples of his work were his collaborations with Catherine Deneuve: Hotel des Amériques (1981), Le Lieu du Crime (1986), and Ma Saison Préférée (1993), the last of which cast Deneuve and Daniel Auteuil as unhappy siblings and earned great acclaim when it was screened in competition at that year's Cannes Festival.
The following year, Téchiné had his greatest success to date with Les Roseaux Sauvages (Wild Reeds), a coming-of-age drama set in 1962. He won a Best Director César for the film, which also won Best Film and Best Original Screenplay Césars. Further acclaim greeted the director in 1996 for his second collaboration with both Deneuve and Auteuil, Les Voleurs. A crime drama told in flashbacks, it earned Téchiné nominations for the César and Golden Palme at Cannes, as well as a host of other honors. He followed this success with Alice et Martin (1998), a romantic drama starring Juliette Binoche, whom Téchiné had previously directed in Rendez-Vous (1985). ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi