Olivier Assayas

25.01.1955, Paris, France


A French screenwriter and director, he entered the world of film by helping his father, French screenwriter Jacques Rémy (1910 - 1981) who was active during 1940s, and later turned to television work. When his health got worse, Olivier was helping him with small tasks, and later he secretly wrote scripts for some episodes of the TV series Maigret in his father’s name. Even though he graduated from the French National School of Fine Arts in Paris as a painter, he later followed his father’s footsteps. Between 1979 and 1985 he wrote for film magazine Cahiers du cinéma. Apart from essays on his favourite European film directors such as Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman and Andrej Tarkovski, he published articles on American horror films and Asian cinema. At the start of the Eighties he made his first short films, also collaborating on two screenplays for André Téchiné’s Rendez-vous (1985) and Scene of the Crime (Le lieu du crime, 1986). His feature-length film debut as a director was made in 1986 with Disorder (Désordre, 1986). This was followed by the dramas Winter’s Child (L'enfant de l'hiver, 1989), Paris s'éveille (1991), A New Life (Une nouvelle vie, 1993) and L'eau froide (1994). After that he made La page blanche (1994), the episode L’eau froide of television series Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge... (1993 - 1994), some episodes of which were directed by the new generation of male and female French directors. His earliest international recognition came after his feature-length film Irma Vep (1996) made as an homage to Louis Feuillade and his film series Vampires (Les vampires, 1915), but also to Hong Kong cinematography. He gave the leading role to Hong Kong star Maggie Cheung who plays herself in the film. He later married her, but the marriage lasted for only three years, from 1998 to 2001. His interest in Asian cinematography continued in the filming of a documentary about Taiwanese film director Hsiao-hsien Hou as part of television series Cinéma de notre temps (1997). The following year he made the romantic drama Fin août, début septembre (1998), and the historical costume drama Sentimental Destinies (Les destinées sentimentales, 2000), the thriller Demonlover (2002) and the melodrama Clean (2004), yet another collaboration with Maggie Cheung. Cheung won the Best Leading Female Actress Award in Cannes in 2004. Taking a short break from feature-length films, Assayas directed a segment in the omnibus Paris, I love you (Paris, je t'aime, 2006). Following that he made two documentaries, one on a contemporary music festival Noise (2006) and one for television Stockhausen/Preljocaj Dialogue (2007) about the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who died the same year. Next was the international thriller Boarding Gate (2007) with Michael Madsen and Asia Argento, supported by actors from Hong Kong. He also worked as one of the directors on the omnibus To Each His Own Cinema (Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s'éteint et que le film commence, 2007) and directed Eldorado (2008) for television, a documentary about the French dancer and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. For the twentieth anniversary of the French Orsay Museum he produced the feature film Summer Hours (L'heure d'été, 2008). Two years later, he made the television miniseries (later released as a short film) Carlos, about a terrorist who was active in Europe during the seventies and eighties. His latest film, Something in the Air (Après mai, 2012), is currently in post-production.


Après mai (2012) (u post-produkciji)
Carlos (TV serija, 3 nastavka, 2010)
L'heure d'été (2008)
Eldorado (2008) (TV)
Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s'éteint et que le film commence (2007) (dio Recrudescence)
Boarding Gate (Boarding Gate, 2007)
Stockhausen/Preljocaj Dialogue (2007) (TV)
Noise (2006)
Pariz, volim te (Paris, je t'aime, 2006) (dio Quartier des Enfants Rouges)
Clean (2004)
Demonlover (2002)
Ljubavne sudbine (Les destinées sentimentales, 2000)
Fin août, début septembre (1998)
Cinéma, de notre temps (TV serija, 1 nastavak: HHH - Un portrait de Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1997)
Sans titre (kratkometražni dokumentarni) (1997)
Irma Vep (1996)
Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge... (TV serija, 1 nastavak, 1994)
L'eau froide (1994)
Une nouvelle vie (1993)
Paris s'éveille (1991)
L'enfant de l'hiver (1989)
Désordre (1986)
Winston Tong en studio (1984) (kratkometražni dokumentarni)
Laissé inachevé à Tokyo (1982) (kratkometražni)
Rectangle - Deux chansons de Jacno (1980) (kratkometražni)
Copyright (1979) (kratkometražni)

Films by this director

Summer Hours

(L'heure d'été, 2008.)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Before her 75th birthday, Hélène is expecting her children and grandchildren to visit in the relaxing atmosphere of her family home. With her health turning for the worse, she wants to resolve the issue of the future of their family estate and the art she inherited as the niece of a famous painter. Her son Frédéric who lives nearby wants to keep the collection together as it is. His brother Jérémie and sister Adrienne have other ideas, but they both live...

color, digital, 103 min

Irma Vep


Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Maggie Cheung plays herself as the main actress in the role of Irma Vep in a remake of the classic, silent series Vampires by Louisa Feuillade. Wanting to bring his career back to life, a fictitious director René Vidal gives Maggie Cheung the role of the fatal jewel thief, originally played by Musadora. Maggie is preparing for her new role, dressed in a latex cat suit, as she defends the director from a hostile film crew and reporters.

35 mm, color, 99 min

Sentimental Destinies

(Les destinées sentimentales, 2000.)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

The film, which takes place from the beginning of the Twentieth Century to the end of World War I, follows the life of Jean Barnery, a young Protestant preacher and the heir to a porcelain factory. Discovering his wife’s infidelity, he decides to divorce her, which gives rise to gossip in their community. He leaves his wife and daughter a significant amount of money to ensure they have a comfortable life, abandoning his clerical duties as well. At the same time he is drawn to Pauline…

35 mm, color, 180 min



Directed by: Olivier Assayas

A French company, the Volf Corporation, plans to buy a Japanese animation studio whose next project is a 3D animated adult film (hentai). Diane is the head negotiator, after she got rid of her superior, Karen. Although her assistant Elise is doing everything she can to make her job difficult, they manage to reach an agreement. During later distribution negotiations with the American company Demonlover, Diane finds out that they are the ones behind the Hellfire Club, an interactive website stream...

35 mm, color, 129 min



Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Emily Wang is in a turbulent long term relationship with the once famous musician Lee Hauser. When he accidentally overdoses on heroin, Emily is locked up for drug possession. The custody of their son Jay goes to Lee’s parents, Albrecht and Rosemary Hauser. While Rosemary blames Emily for her son’s death, Albrecht realises that it is important for Jay to develop a good relationship with his mother. After she is released from prison Albrecht has one condition: she can see her son after two years,...

35 mm, color, 110 min

Personal Shopper

(France, Germany, 2016)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Kristen Stewart igra Morin Kartrajt, Amerikanku u Parizu koja radi kao osobna stilistica slavnoj glumici i modelu. Morin je ostala u Parizu nakon iznenadne smrti brata blizanca uzrokovane urođenom srčanom manom, koju i ona ima. Pokušavajući doći u kontakt s preminulim bratom, sve više je opsjednuta svijetom duhova, od nepoznate osobe prima uznemirujuće elektronske poruke, počinje gubiti kontrolu nad vlastitim životom...

color, digital, 105 min
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