Diane Kurys (French: [djan kyris]; born 3 December 1948) is a French filmmaker and actress. She was born in Lyon, Rhône, France, the younger of two daughters born to Russian-Jewish parents who divorced when she was a child. Several of her films as director are semi-autobiographical.
Like many of her film's characters, Kurys had a difficult relationship with her parents, and her traumatic childhood became a subject in many of her films. She lived with her mother after their divorce in 1954, at one point running away to join her father at age sixteen. In her adolescence, she was radicalized in the spirit of May of '68, but became somewhat disillusioned in the aftermath, calling it a "revolution bourgeois" in an interview with Jean-Luc Wachthausen She first met her partner and fellow filmmaker Alexandre Arcady, when she was fifteen years old. They have been a couple since the 1960s, have two production companies together as well as a son born in 1991, Yasha, an author who writes under the name of Sacha Sperling fr.
She began as an actress with Jean-Louis Barrault's company. She acted in theater, film, and television for eight years, but felt unable to express herself under "the director or any kind of authority or control." This led to her transitioning into writing and film making.
With a government grant, she made her first film as director, Diabolo menthe (1977) (aka Peppermint Soda), which explored her life as a child of divorced parents, and focused on her relationship with her sister, to whom she dedicated the movie. Cocktail Molotov (1980) was her next film. In Coup de Foudre (1983) (a.k.a. Entre Nous), the divorce issue is revisited, with Isabelle Huppert playing the heroine's mother.
Kurys made her first English-language film, A Man in Love, in 1987 starring Peter Coyote and Greta Scacchi. At the film's conclusion, Scacchi's character gives up acting to become a writer; echoing Kurys's own transition in life.
C'est la vie (a.k.a. La Baule-les-Pins) (1990) returned to her alter-ego leading character's adolescent years. Huppert also appeared in Après l'amour (1992) (aka Love After Love). À la folie (aka Six Days, Six Nights) (1994) examined the relationship between two adult sisters. She also directed the period film Children of the Century which (1999) and the 2008 biopic about Françoise Sagan called Sagan. Her latest film is Pour une femme, released in 2013, which stars Benoît Magimel, Mélanie Thierry and Nicolas Duvauchelle.
Although Kurys' work as a filmmaker in the 1980s helped bring women's filmmaking into the mainstream of its time, her commercial successes have played a part in keeping her from being granted auteur status by many critics. Her harsher critics have called her films conventional, polished, and not challenging to cinema's status quo. In addition, her ambivalence toward feminism and dislike of the "woman director" or "women's cinema" label has played a part in her lack of feminist film study scholarship. In a section on Kurys for French Film: texts and contexts and the first book-length study of Kurys work, film scholar Carrie Tarr argues that her work is firmly within the auteurist tradition, "a coherent body of work with a recognizable style". Kurys' use of her own life story, her inclusion of a stand-in for herself in most films, the recurring character types and situations from her memories and concerns in her present, all create a body of work specifically centered on a unique female voice. Tarr theorizes that Kurys' signature contains two voices, one which reflect her rebellion against the male-centric world she meant to escape by turning from acting to filmmaking, and the other which collaborates with the patriarchal structure she still must operate within to be successful.
The first, Alexandre Films was formed in 1977 with Alexandre Arcady prior to the release of Peppermint Soda. The company co-produced her first six films, as well as a number of Arcady's, whose name it bears. The pair formed a second company, New Light Films, in 1994, which produces films in both French and English.
|1977||Peppermint Soda||also screenwriter and co-producer|
|1980||Cocktail Molotov||also co-screenwriter, co-adapter, and co-dialogist|
|1983||Entre Nous a.k.a. Coup de foudre||also screenwriter, co-adapter, and dialogist |
Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 56th Academy Awards
|1987||A Man in Love||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, and co-producer|
|1990||C'est la vie (La Baule-les-Pins)||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, and co-producer|
|1992||Love After Love||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, and co-producer|
|1994||À la folie||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist|
|1999||The Children of the Century||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, and co-producer|
|2003||I'm Staying! a.k.a. Je Reste!||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist|
|2005||L'anniversaire||also co-screenwriter, co-dialogist, and co-producer|
|2008||Sagan||also screenwriter, dialogist, and co-producer|
|2013||Pour une femme||also screenwriter|
|2016||Arrête ton cinéma|
|1972||Les petits enfants d'Attila||Directed by Jean-Pierre Bastid fr|
|Le bar de la fourche||Christie||Directed by Alain Levent|
|What a Flash!||Directed by Jean-Michel Barjol fr|
|1973||Elle court, elle court la banlieue||Friend of Jean-Paul||Directed by Gérard Pirès|
|Poil de carotte||Agathe||Directed by Henri Garziani fr|
|1974||Les Grands Détectives (TV series)fr||The pretty blonde||"Rendez-vous dans les ténèbres" directed by Jean Vautrin|
|1975||Les Brigades du Tigre (TV series)fr||Catherine||"Le défi" Season 2, episode 4|
|Messieurs les Jurés (TV series)fr||Sylvie Radet||"L'affaire Lambert"|
|Le Père Amable||Phémie||TV movie based on short story by Guy de Maupassant|
|La Mémoire||The girl||Short directed by Gébé fr as Georges Blondeaux|
|1976||F comme Fairbanks||Annick||Directed by Maurice Dugowson|
|Hôtel Baltimore||The girl||TV movie directed by Alexandre Arcady |
Lanford Wilson's play adapted by Kurys and Philippe Adrien
|Fellini's Casanova||Madame Charpillon||Directed by Federico Fellini|
- Carrie Tarr: Diane Kurys. Manchester University Press, New York, 1999, ISBN 978-0719050954