Kurys, Diane

(1948- )
   Actress, director, producer, and screen-writer. Diane Kurys was born in Lyons, the daughter of Russian Jewish parents who met in a French detention camp during the Occupation. Her father was a French legionnaire and prevented her mother's deportation. Her parents eventually split up, apparently because her father was threatened by her mother's relationship with another woman. Diane lived with her mother and older sister in Paris while her father lived in Lyons. Kurys left home at the age of sixteen to reunite with him, and in her later teens she left France for Israel with Alexandre Arcady, where they lived in a kibbutz. Kurys eventually went back to Paris, where she participated in the protests of May 1968 after planning to study literature at the Sorbonne. Rather than complete her studies, Kurys became an actress in theater, film, and television. She was unhappy with her experience, began writing, and subsequently scripted her first work, which is one of her finest.
   One can trace parts of Kurys's youth through her semi-autobiographical films. Kurys's first film, Diabolo Menthe (1977), was produced with Arcady through their production company, Alexandre Films. She directed and scripted the film with very little or no directorial training. It won the prestigious Prix Louis-Delluc, and its enormous success (it was among the top three best-selling French films in 1977) enabled Kurys to further pursue her directing career. Diabolo Menthe narrates the coming of age of two daughters of a single mother—unique characters at the time—who are based on Kurys and her sister. Her portrayal of these formative years has been compared with François Truffaut's Les quatre-cent coups (1959). Kurys's next film was the less successful Cocktail Molotov (1980), which focuses on young protagonists trying to make it to Paris in May 1968.
   Kurys's interest in her mother's past led to what many see as her best film, Coup de foudre (1983). It is based on the friendship that seems to have led to her parents' separation, brought to life through excellent performances by Isabelle Huppert and Miou-Miou. Unfortunately, the two real-life friends died before its opening. Diabolo Menthe and Coup de foudre, both of which explore female solidarity, are Kurys's most acclaimed films to date. Her Un homme amoureux (1987) also gained substantial recognition and was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes. Her other films include La Baule-Les Pins (1990), Après l'amour (1992), A la folie (1994), Les enfants du siè-cle, a film about George Sand's romance with Alfred de Musset (1999), and Je reste! (2003). Kurys is one of France's most well-known women directors, though she has resisted being narrowly categorized as such. Instead, she prefers to be remembered simply as a director, and she is indeed ranked among the best.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kurys, Diane — (1948 )    Actress, director, producer, and screen writer. Diane Kurys was born in Lyons, the daughter of Russian Jewish parents who met in a French detention camp during the Occupation. Her father was a French legionnaire and prevented her… …   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema

  • Kurys, Diane — (December 3, 1948, Lyon, Rhône, France )    The daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia, she was educated in Paris and began an acting career on­stage in the late 1960s. In 1970, she joined the Jean Louis Barrault Madeleine Renaud theater… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Diane Kurys — (born December 3, 1948) is a French filmmaker and actress. Several of her films as director are autobiographical. Born in Lyon, Rhône, France, her parents divorced when she was a child. She began as an actress with Jean Louis Barrault s company.… …   Wikipedia

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  • Diane Kurys — est une actrice, productrice, réalisatrice et scénariste française, née le 3 décembre 1948 à Lyon (France). Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Filmographie 2.1 En tant qu actrice …   Wikipédia en Français

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