Jean-Claude Rousseau / TO HIS APARTMENTS
DE SON APPARTEMENT
France, 2007, DigiBeta, 4:3, 70 min
For a long time I have wanted to try and see if I could create a drama with the simplicity of action which the Ancients so favoured. There are those who believe that this very simplicity is a sign of a lack of inventiveness. They do not consider that, on the contrary, all invention is to create something out of nothing.
From the preface of Bérénice by Racine, 1670
Born in 1946 in Paris, Jean-Claude Rousseau studied law. It was in New York that he discovered avant-garde cinema. Upon his return to Paris, he worked as an artist and exhibited at the Salon de Mai and Novembre a Vitry. In 1983, he directed his first medium-length film, Jeune femme a sa fenetre lisant une lettre. This was followed by two short films: Venise n'existe pas (1984) and Keep in Touch (1987), and his first feature film Les Antiquités de Rome (1989), all filmed in Super 8. Where short shots were usually favoured, he used long shots and where camera movement was usually favoured, he kept the camera steady. He continued this mode of directing with a second feature film, La Vallée Close, supported by Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet. Presented at the festival of Locarno, the film won the Grand Prix du documentaire at the Belfort festival. His other works include: Lettre a Roberto (2002), Juste avant l'orage (2003) and Comme une ombre légere (2005) which, together with Faibles amusements (2004) and Contretemps (2004) forms a triptych entitled Trois fois rien. In 2007, his last film, De son appartement, won the Grand Prix of the International competition at the festival of Marseille. The last retrospective of his films occurred in Rome at the Villa Medici and at the Cineteca Nazionale in November 2007.