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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