Painlevé, Jean

(1902-1989)
   Director and producer. The son of the mathematician and French prime minister, Paul Painlevé, Jean Painlevé studied biology and medicine and became a scientist. Painlevé began experimenting with cinema in the early 1920s while studying at the Sorbonne. He made his first film, L'œuf d'épinoche (1925), for a presentation he made at the French Academy of Sciences. He was a friend of director René Sti, who fueled his interest in the medium, and one of his early films,Mathusalem (1927), features avant-garde writer and actor Antonin Artaud. It should be clear from this fact that, in addition to his scientific background, Painlevé had a strong interest in the avant-garde. He went on to make more than two hundred films, most of which center around issues of life or death in the natural world, and many of which feature the ocean or its inhabitants. Some films are less focused on specific animals and are more purely theoretical in their subject matter. Many also have a decidedly surrealist aspect, which is not surprising since Painlevé was closely associated with the early surrealist movement.
   Painlevé's films include La Daphnie (1927), Hyas et stenorinques (1927), La Pieuvre (1927), Mobile de Calder (1929), Pantopodes (1929), Caprelles (1929), Les Crabes (1930), Crevettes (1930), Ruptures de fibres (1931), Électrophorase de nitrate d'argent (1932), L'Hippocampe (1934), Corèthre (1935), Vie dessous l'eau (1935), La Quatrième dimension (1936), Microscopie à bord d'un bâteau de pêche (1936), Voyage dans le ciel (1937), Images mathématiques de la lutte pour la vie (1937), Solutions françaises (1939), Le Vampire (1945), Jeux d'enfants (1946), Notre planète la Terre (1946), Œuvre scientifique de Pasteur (1947), Assassins d'eau douce (1947), Écriture de la danse (1947), La Chirurgerie correctrice (1948), Étourneaux (1950), Halammohydra (1952), Les Oursins (1954), Eleutheria (1955), Miscellanées (1955), Les Danseuses de la mer (1956), L'Astérie (1958), Les Alpes (1958), Descente de la mer en acceléré (1960), Seiche, étoile de mer, coquille saint-jacque (1960), Comment naissent des méduses (1960), La Crevette (1963), Amours de la pieuvre (1965), Diatomées (1968), Les Tarets (1969), Limaille (1970), Acera ou le bal des sorcières (1972), Énergie et dynamique des photons (1974), Les Homards (1975), and Cristaux liquides (1978). He also made one animated film, Barbe bleue (1938).
   Although often classified as documentaries, Painlevé's films are not documentaries in the typical sense, as they are often less scientific than poetic, and there is as much and sometimes more attention given to the visual impact of the films as there is to pedagogical value. Many of his films have a decidedly surrealist quality, and in typical surrealist fashion, there are often metaphorical and allegorical allusions to issues that lie outside the film. For example, both Le Vampire and Assassins d'eau douce reference fascism and Nazism and the brutality of World War II. Painlevé contributed to Georges Franju's celebrated documentary Le Sang des bêtes (1946), which was also a covert exploration of the Occupation and the war.
   In addition to the visual qualities, there is also a decidedly avant-garde aspect to the soundtracks of Painlevé's films. These often feature counterintuitive samples from popular music that serve as a commentary on the images on the screen.
   Painlevé's films, with the exception of L'Hippocampe, which was distributed by Pathé-Natan, were not widely seen by the public. In fact, for many years his work was largely ignored. However, in recent years, interest in his films has been growing, and there have been several important museum exhibits and screenings featuring his work. In addition to his own filmmaking, Painlevé was actively involved in the cultural promotion of cinema. He was the general director of cinema for the French government from 1944 to 1945, and he served as president of the French Federation of ciné-clubs from 1946 to 1956. Painlevé was also a producer and in 1930 he founded the production company Documents Cinématographiques. The company produced all of Painlevé's own films and is still in existence.
   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema by Dayna Oscherwitz & Mary Ellen Higgins

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Painlevé, Jean — (1902 1989)    Director and producer. The son of the mathematician and French prime minister, Paul Painlevé, Jean Painlevé studied biology and medicine and became a scientist. Painlevé began experimenting with cinema in the early 1920s while… …   Historical Dictionary of French Cinema

  • Painlevé, Jean — • ПЕНЛЕВЕ (Painleve) Жан (р. 20.11.1902)    франц. режиссёр. Работая ассистентом в Лаборатории сравнит, анатомии, П. использовал кино в науч. целях. В 1928 снял первый ф. Осьминог . П. автор св. 100 науч. ф., из к рых пользуются мировой… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Jean Painlevé — (November 20 1902 July 2 1989), son of mathematician and twice prime minister of France, Paul Painlevé, was a film director, actor, translator, animator, critic and theorist. UpbringingA few days after Painlevé was born, his mother, Marguerite… …   Wikipedia

  • PAINLEVÉ (J.) — PAINLEVÉ JEAN (1902 1989) Après une classe de math sup à Louis le Grand, Jean Painlevé, fils du mathématicien et homme d’État Paul Painlevé, s’oriente vers la médecine. Mais un passage à la faculté des sciences, où il obtient une licence, décide… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jean Painleve — Jean Painlevé (* 20. November 1902 in Paris; † 2. Juli 1989 ebenda) war ein französischer Dokumentarfilmer, Szenenbildner und Schauspieler. Sein Vater war der Mathematiker und zweimalige französische Premierminister Paul Painlevé.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean Painlevé — est un réalisateur, scénariste et traducteur français, né le 20 novembre 1902 à Paris, où il est mort le 4 juillet 1989. Son père Paul Painlevé, mathématicien, fut président du Conseil à deux reprises. Sommaire 1 Parcours 2 Le Vampire 3 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean Painleve — Jean Painlevé Jean Painlevé est un réalisateur, scénariste, acteur et traducteur français né le 20 novembre 1902 à Paris (France), décédé le 4 juillet 1989 à Paris (France). Son père Paul Painlevé, un mathématicien a été premier ministre français …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Painleve — Painlevé ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Jean Painlevé (1902–1989), französischer Dokumentarfilmer, Szenenbildner und Schauspieler Paul Painlevé (1863–1933), französischer Mathematiker und Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean Ossola — (1929) Parlementaire français Date de naissance 24 avril 1881 Date de décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean Painlevé — (* 20. November 1902 in Paris; † 2. Juli 1989 ebenda) war ein französischer Dokumentarfilmer, Szenenbildner und Schauspieler. Er gilt als einer der Pioniere des Dokumentarfilms und entwickelte schon in den 1920er Jahren Unterwasserfilm… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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