L’anti-héro dans 3 films de Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Amélie, Un long dimanche de Fiançailles et Micmacs à tire-larigot
Mentor:Marie-Magdeleine Chirol, Department Co-Chair and Professor of French, Whittier College
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a contemporary French filmmaker known worldwide for having cultivated his own auteur style. For my presentation, I will focus on three of his major films: Amèlie (2001), Un long dimanche de Finaçailles (2004), and Micmacs à tire-larigot (2009). My goal is to first identify Jeunet’s antihero within these films, and to then analyze the implications of the antihero on the narrative. Choosing to use notably imperfect heroes in his films, Jeunet’s central characters tend to be automatically more authentic and humanistic. First, I will clarify how and why Jeunet’s central characters are in fact antiheroes due to their various imperfections. I will provide contextualized examples to demonstrate this, and to indicate how and why this relates to both the narrative and the audience in a meaningful way. Moreover, unlike classical heroes, Jeunet’s antiheroes also tend to require the help of others to succeed and to accomplish their goals. Subsequently, I will identify examples of this as a recurring theme throughout Jeunet’s work, in which Jeunet stresses the importance of friendship and love as an indispensable key to human survival. Although Jeunet does employ simple antihero characters with flaws and imperfections, he tends to include rather outlandish schemes and intricate plotlines in the narrative. Consequently, I will analyze the significance of this recurring juxtaposition in Jeunet’s work, in which Jeunet places seemingly average and ordinary antiheroes within highly unusual and extraordinary situations. Lastly, this will also lead me to examine the fragility of life or the certainty of death as a common theme within Jeunet’s work. My presentation will be in French and will include clips from Jeunet’s films to illustrate my findings.