Bertrand Tavernier

About

Tavernier was born in Lyon. He says that his father’s publishing of a wartime resistance journal and aid to anti-Nazi intellectuals shaped his moral outlook as an artist. According to Tavernier, his father believed that words were “as important and as lethal as bullets”. Tavernier wanted to become a filmmaker since the age of 13 or 14 years. He claims that his cinematic influences include filmmakers John Ford, William Wellman, Jean Renoir, Jean Vigo and Jacques Becker. Tavernier was influenced by the 1968 general strike in France. He associated with the OCI between 1973 and 1975, and was particularly struck by the writing of Leon Trotsky. The first film director with whom he worked was Jean-Pierre Melville. Later, his first film (The Clockmaker, 1974) won the Prix Louis Delluc and the Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize award at the 24th Berlin International Film Festival.

His early work was dominated by mysteries, but his later work is characterized by a more overt social commentary, highlighting his left-wing views (Life and Nothing But, Capitaine Conan) and presenting a critical picture of contemporary French society (Ça commence aujourd’hui, Histoires de vies brisées : les double-peine de Lyon).

He won the BAFTA for best film in a language other than English in 1990 for Life and Nothing But and a total of four César Awards.

In 1995, his film L’Appât won the Golden Bear Award at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival. Four years later, his film It All Starts Today won an Honourable Mention at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.

His film The Princess of Montpensier competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.