- Astruc, Alexandre
- (July 13, 1923, Paris, France - )The son of a writer and journalist father and a drawer mother, he had a passion for mathematics and literature that first led him to attend a preparatory school for Polytechnique, but he finally opted for other studies. After acquiring degrees in literature and law from the Sorbonne University during the Occupation, he befriended writer and poet Jean Les-cure, who introduced him to the world of arts and letters. He met Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, and Boris Vian and gave texts to literary reviews (Poésie 42, Confluences). In 1945, he published his first novel (1945 Les Vacances, Editions Gallimard). A journalist and sometimes editorialist for daily newspapers (France-Dimanche, Combat, Action), he was also a film critic and theoretician writing for Objectif 49, La Nef, L'Ecran Français, Les Temps modernes, and Les Cahiers du Cinéma. He remains famous for his theory of "Caméra-Stylo" (camera-pen), expounded in the March 1948 issue of L'Ecran Français, which affirmed that cinema was becoming a means of expression like the other arts and a language",a means of writing just as flexible as the written language." He made his debut behind the camera as a second assistant director to Marc Allégret (Blanche Fury, UK). Then he directed two 16-mm amateur shorts and landed a job of first assistant director and adapter (1949 Jean de la Lune, Marcel Achard). He co-adapted Jean-Paul Sartre's play La P . . . respectueuse / UK and USA: The Respectful Prostitute (Charles Brabant, 1952) and collaborated on the script of a Franco-Italian swashbuckling play from Alexandre Dumas, Le Vicomte de Bragelonne / Il Vis-conte di Bragelonne / USA: The Last Musketeer / Count of Bragelonne, Fernando Cerchio). As a director, he often adapted great authors (Maupassant, Poe, Barbey d'Aurevilly, Flaubert). He appeared in several documentaries as himself (1949 Désordre, Jacques Bara-tier; 1967 Cinéastes de notre Temps, TV documentary, segment "Alexandre Astruc, l'Ascendant Taureau"; 1974 Histoires du cinéma français par ceux qui l'ont fait, Armand Panigel; 1993 François Truffaut / Portraits volés / UK and USA: François Truffaut: Stolen Portraits, Michel Pascal and Serge Toubiana) and feature films (1949 Rendez-vous de Juillet, Jacques Becker; 1950 La Valse de Paris, Marcel Achard; 1957 Un Amour de Poche / UK: Nude in the Pocket / USA: Nude in His Pocket, Pierre Kast; 1974 La Jeune Fille assassinée / Una vita bruciata / Ein wildes Leben / USA: Charlotte).Other works include 1964 Bassae (as author of commentary; documentary; short; Jean-Daniel Pollet), 1980 Comme le Temps passe (as co-screenwriter, co-adapter, co-dialogist; Alain Levent), 1981 Frère Martin (as co-screenwriter, co-adapter, co-dialogist; TV movie; Jean Delannoy), and 2001 Les Âmes fortes (as co-screenwriter, co-adapter, co-dialogist; Raul Ruiz).Filmography◘ Aller et Retour (short; also screenwriter)◘ Ulysse ou Les Mauvaises Rencontres (short; also screenwriter)1953 ◘ Les Crimes de l'Amour (segment "Le Rideau cramoisi" / USA: "The Crimson Curtain"; also screenwriter, adapter, dialogist; shot in 1951-1952)1955 ◘ Les Mauvaises Rencontres (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, co-dialogist)1958 ◘ Une Vie / Una vita / UK: One Life / USA: End of Desire (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter; France / Italy)◘ La Proie pour l'Ombre / USA: Shadows of Adultery (also co-screenwriter)◘ L'Education sentimentale / L'educazione sentimentale / UK: Lessons in Love (France / Italy)1965 ◘ La Longue Marche / USA: Long March (also co-screenwriter, co-adapter)1968 ◘ Flammes sur l'Adriatique / Planem nad Jadranom / USA: Flames over the Adriatic (France / Yugoslavia)1976 ◘ Sartre par lui-même (documentary; co-director with Michel Contat, Guy Seligmann)Television Filmography1964 ◘ Le Puits et le Pendule / USA: The Pit and the◘ Pendulum (also screenwriter, adapter)1965 ◘ Evariste Galois / L'Eloge des Mathématiques:◘ Evariste Galois (short; also screenwriter)1969 ◘ Le Portrait ovale◘ Rousseau musicien (documentary)1970 ◘ Cinéastes de notre Temps (segment "Murnau")1975 ◘ Les Grands Détectives (episode "La Lettre volée")1978 ◘ Louis XI ou La Naissance d'un Roi◘ Louis XI ou Le Pouvoir central◘ A une Voix près . . . ou La Naissance de la Fille République (also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist)◘ Arsène Lupin joue et perd (6 X 52'; also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, co-dialogist; France / Italy / Switzerland / West Germany)◘ Histoires extraordinaires: La Chute de la Maison Usher1989 ◘ Une Fille d'Eve (also screenwriter, dialogist)1993 ◘ Albert Savarus (also screenwriter, adapter, dialogist)
Encyclopedia of French film directors . Philippe Rège. 2011.