Jean-Claude Carriere, Oscar-Winning ‘Belle de Jour’ Screenwriter, Dies at 89

Frequent collaborator with Luis Bunuel also wrote “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeouisie” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

jean claude carriere
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Jean-Claude Carriere, an Oscar-winning French screenwriter known for films such as “Belle de Jour,” “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeouisie” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and a frequent collaborator with director Luis Bunuel, has died. He was 89.

Carriere was also an author and won an Oscar in 1963 for the short film “Happy Anniversary” that he directed, and he also won an honorary Oscar in 2015 after being nominated four times.

His daughter told the news service AFP, that Carriere died Monday evening of natural causes at his home in Paris (via Le Figaro).

Carriere published his first novel “Lezard” in 1957 and was subsequently introduced to French auteur and comedian Jacques Tati, who commissioned him to write short novels based on his films.

He would first collaborate with Bunuel in 1964 on “Diary of a Chambermaid,” working with the surrealist in his later French period for 19 years, working on nearly all of his films and even acting in small roles in some.

Though he’s best known for his work with Bunuel, Carriere would amass upwards of 150 writing credits, partnering with directors such as Michael Haneke, Louis Garrel, Milos Forman and Jean-Luc Godard.

He would even write up until his death, with his most recent film “The Salt of Tears” with Philippe Garrel coming out last year. He also worked with Julian Schnabel on the Oscar-nominated “At Eternity’s Gate” in 2018.

In addition to his film writing, Carriere dabbled in television and also wrote a nine-hour stage play along with Peter Brook based on a Sanskrit epic, and he worked on the libretto for an opera alongside Hans Gefors. In 2012 he wrote a book with Umberto Eco called “This Is Not the End of the Book” about the history of literature from papyrus scrolls up through e-books.


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