Michel Piccoli - Actors and Actresses





Nationality: French. Born: Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli in Paris of Italian parents, 27 December 1925. Family: Married 1) Eleno Eleonore Hirt (divorced), daughter: Anne-Cordélia; 2) the actress and singer Juliette Greco, 1966 (divorced 1977); 3) Ludivine Clerc, 1978. Career: 1944—film debut in Sortilèges ; also worked on French stage and television. Awards: French Étoile de Cristal Award for Best Actor, for La Curée , 1966; Best Actor, Cannes Festival, for Salto nel vuoto , 1979.


Films as Actor:

1944

Sortilèges (Christian-Jaque)

1949

Le Point du jour (Daquin); Le Parfum de la dame en noir (Daquin)

1950

Sans laisser d'adresse (Chanois)

1951

Terreur en Oklahoma (Paviot—short)

1952

Chicago Digest (Paviot—short); Torticola contre Frankensberg (Paviot—short); Saint-Tropez, devoir de vacances (Paviot—short); "Jeanne d'Arc" ep. of Destinées (Delannoy)

1953

Interdit de séjour (de Canonge)

1954

Tout chante autour de moi (Gout)

1955

French Cancan ( Only the French Can ) (Renoir) (as Valorguil); Les Mauvaises Rencontres (Astruc); Ernst Thälman Führer seiner Klasse (Maetzig)

1956

La Mort en ce jardin ( Death in the Garden ; Evil Eden ; Gina ) (Buñuel) (as Father Lizzardi); Les Sorcières de Salem ( Witches of Salem ; The Crucible ) (Rouleau); Marie-Antoinette (Delannoy); Les Copains du dimanche (Aisner)

1957

Nathalie ( The Foxiest Girl in Paris ) (Christian-Jaque) (as Frank Marchal, policeman); Tabarin (Pottier)

1958

Rafles sur la ville ( Sinners of Paris ) (Chenal)

1959

La Bête à l'affût (Chenal); La Dragée haute (Kerchner)

1960

Le bal des espions (Clément)

1961

Le vergini di Roma ( Amazons of Rome ) (Bragaglia and Cottafavi); Le Rendez-vous (Delannoy); La Chevelure (Kyrou—short); Le Rendez-vous de Nöel (Michel—short)

1962

Climats (Lorenzi); Fumée, histoire et fantaisie (Villiers and Berne—short)

1963

Le Doulos ( The Fingerman ; Doulos—The Fingerman ) (Melville) (as Nuttheccio); Le Jour et l'heure ( The Day and the Hour ) (Clément) (as Antoine); Le Mépris ( Contempt ) (Godard) (as Paul Javal)

1964

Le Journal d'une femme de chambre ( Diary of a Chambermaid ) (Buñuel) (as Monsieur Monteil); La Chance et l'amour (Bitsch); Marie-Soleil (Bourseiller); Pararazzi (Rozier—short); De l'amour (Aurel) (as Raoul)

1965

Masquerade (Dearden) (as Sarrassin); Lady L (Ustinov) (as Lecoeur); Le Coup de grâce (Gayrol); Compartiment tueurs ( The Sleeping Car Murder ) (Costa-Gavras) (as Cabourg); Les Ruses du Diable (Vecchiali); Café tabac (Guillemot—short)

1966

Paris brûle-t-il? ( Is Paris Burning? ) (Clément) (as Edgar Pisani); La Curée ( The Game Is Over ) (Vadim) (as Alexan-dre Saccard); La Guerre est finie ( The War Is Over ; Krigetar Slut ) (Resnais) (as customs inspector); Les Créatures ( Varelserna ) (Varda) (as Edgar); La Voleuse (Chapot)

1967

Un Homme de trop ( Shock Troops ) (Costa-Gavras) (as Extra Man); Les Demoiselles de Rochefort ( The Young Girls of Rochefort ) (Demy) (as Simon Dame); Belle de jour (Buñuel) (as Henri Husson); Mon amour, mon amour (Trintignant)

1968

Benjamin ou Les mémoires d'un puceau ( Benjamin ; The Diary of an Innocent Boy ) (Deville) (as Count Philippe de Saint-Germain); Danger: Diabolik ( Diabolik ) (Bava) (as Inspector Ginco); La Chamade (Cavalier) (as Charles); La Prisonnière ( The Female Prisoner ; La Prigioniera ) (Clouzot); Dillinger è morto ( Dillinger Is Dead ) (Ferreri) (as Glauco)

1969

La Voie lactée ( The Milky Way ; La Via lattea ) (Buñuel) (as the Marquis); Topaz (Hitchcock) (as Jacques Granville); L'invitata (de Seta)

1970

Les Choses de la vie ( The Things of Life ) (Sautet) (as Pierre); L'Invasion (Yves Allégret); Max et les ferrailleurs (Sautet) (title role)

1971

La Poudre d'escampette ( Touch and Go ; French Leave ) (de Broca) (as Valentin)

1972

La Décade prodigieuse ( Ten Days' Wonder ) (Chabrol) (as Paul Regis); Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie ( The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie ) (Buñuel) (as Home Secretary); L'udienza ( The Audience ; The Papal Audience ) (Ferreri); La cagna ( Liza ) (Ferreri); La Femme en bleu (Deville); César et Rosalie ( Cesar and Rosalie ) (Sautet) (as narrator); L'Attentat ( The Plot ; The French Conspiracy ) (Boisset) (as Colonel Kassar)

1973

Themroc (Faraldo) (title role, + co-pr); Les Noces rouges ( Wedding in Blood ; Red Wedding ) (Chabrol); La Grande Bouffe ( Blow-Out ) (Ferreri) (as Michel, the TV producer); Le Far-West (Brel); Grandeur nature ( Life Size ; Love Doll ) (Berlanga); Touche pas à la femme blanche ( Don't Touch White Women ) (Ferreri) (as Buffalo Bill)

1974

Le Trio infernal (Girod); Le Fantôme de la liberté ( The Phantom of Liberty ; The Specter of Freedom ) (Buñuel) (as 2nd prefect); La Faille (Fleischmann); Léonor (Juan Buñuel) (as Richard)

1975

Vincent, François, Paul, et les autres ( Vincent, Paul, and the Others ) (Sautet); Sept morts sur ordonnance (Rouffio) (as Dr. Losseray)

1976

Mado (Sautet) (as Simon Leotard); F comme Fairbanks (Dugowson); Todo modo (Petri); L'ultimata donna ( The Last Woman ; La Derniere femme ) (Ferreri)

1977

L'Imprécateur (Bertucelli); René la Canne (Girod); Des Enfants gâtés ( Spoiled Children ) (Tavernier) (as Bernardi); La Part du feu (Périer)

1978

L'Etat sauvage ( The Savage State ) (Girod) (as Orlaville); Strauberg ist Da (Gallé); La Petite Fille en velours bleu (Bridges); Le Sucre (Rouffio)

1979

Giallo napoletano ( Neapolitan Thriller ) (Corbucci); Der Preiss für Überleben ( Le Prix de la survie ) (Noever); Le Mors aux dents (Heynemann); Le Divorcement (Barouh); Salto nel vuoto ( A Leap in the Dark ; Leap into the Void ) (Bellocchio)(as Judge Ponticelli)

1980

La Fille prodigue (Doillon)

1981

Atlantic City (Malle) (as Joseph); Une Etrange Affaire (Granier-Deferre) (as Bertrand Maler); Espion, lève toi (Boisset); La Passante du Sans-Souci ( La Passante ) (Rouffio and Kirsner)(as Max Baumstein); La Nuit de Varennes ( That Night in Varennes ; The New World ) (Scola) (as King Louis XVI)

1982

Passion (Godard); Une Chambre en ville ( A Room in Town )(Demy) (as Edmond Leroyer); Le Prix du danger (Boisset); Oltre la porta ( Beyond the Door ) (Cavani); Que les gros salaires lèvent le doigt!!! (Granier-Deferre) (as José Viss); Le Général de l'armée morte ( Il generale dell'armata morta ) (Tovoli) (+ co-sc); Gli occhi, la bocca ( The Eyes, the Mouth ) (Bellocchio) (as Uncle Nigi)

1983

Viva la vie (Lelouch)

1984

La Diagonale du fou ( Dangerous Moves ) (Dembo) (as Akiva Liebskind); Adieu Bonaparte ( Weda'an Bonapart ) (Chahine)(as Louis Caffarelli du Flaga); Péril en la demeure ( Peril ; Death in a French Garden ) (Deville) (as Graham Tombsthay); Le Matelot 512 (Allio); Success Is the Best Revenge (Skolimowski) (as French official)

1985

Partir, revenir ( Going and Coming Back ) (Lelouch) (as Simon Lerner)

1986

Mauvais Sang ( Bad Blood ; The Night Is Young ) (Carax) (as Marc); Mon beau-frère a tué ma soeur (Rouffio) (as Ètienne); Le Paltoquet (Deville) (as The Nonentity); La Puritaine (Doillon) (as Pierre)

1987

Maladie d'amour (Deray) (as Raoul Bergeron); La Terre étrangère (Bondy); L'Homme voilé ( The Veiled Man )(Bagdadi) (as Kassar); La Rumba (Hanin) (as Malleville)

1988

Blanc de chine (Granier-Deferre); Y'a Bon les blancs (Ferreri)

1989

Actor (Angelucci)

1990

Milou en mai ( May Fools ) (Malle) (as Milou); Martha und Ich ( Martha and I ) (Jiri Weiss) (as Uncle Ernst); La Belle Noiseuse ( The Beautiful Troublemaker ; Divertimento )(Rivette) (as Edouard Frenhofer)

1991

L'Equilibriste ( Walking a Tightrope ) (Papatakis) (as Marcel Spadice); Das Schicksal des Freiherrn von Leisenbohg (Molinaro); El Ladron del Ninos ( The Children Thief ; Le Voleur d'enfants ) (De Chalonge) (as M. Armand); Contre l'oubli ( Against Oblivion ; Ecrire contre l'oubli ) (Akerman and others)

1992

Archipelago (Granier-Deferre) (as Leonard Wilde); Le Bal des casse-pieds (Yves Robert) (as Desire); From Time to Time (Blyth) (as Jules Verne); Le Souper ( The Supper )(Molinaro) (as voice of Chateaubriand); La Vie crevee ( Punctured Life ) (Nicloux) (as Raymond)

1993

La Cavale des Fous ( Loonies at Large ) (Pico) (as Henri Toussaint); Ruptures (Citti) (as Paul)

1994

Bête de scène ; L'Ange noir ( The Black Angel ) (Brisseau) (as Georges Feuvrier); Al Mohager ( The Emigrant ) (Chahine)(as Adam)

1995

Les Cent et une nuits ( A Hundred and One Nights ) (Varda) (as Simon Cinema)

1996

Tykho Moon (Bilal); Compagna di viaggio (Del Monte); Beaumarchais, l'insolent (Molinaro) (as le Prince Conti)

1997

Généalogies d'un crime (as Georges Didier)

1998

Simoom: A Passion in the Desert (Currier) (as Jean-Michel Venture de Paradis)

1999

Rien sur Robert (Bonitzer) (as Lord Ariel Chatwick-West); Libero Burro (Castellitto) (as Uncle Tony); París Tombuctú (Luis García Berlanga) (as Michel des Assantes)

2000

Les Acteurs (Blier) (as himself)



Film as Actor and Director:

1982

Il Generale dell'armata morte

1994

Train de nuit (+ co-sc)

1997

Alors voilà



Publications


By PICCOLI: book—


Dialogues égoïstes , with Alain Lacombe, Paris, 1976.


By PICCOLI: articles—

Interviews in Cinématographe (Paris), September/October 1983 and November 1986.

Interviews with Serge Toubiana, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), October 1984 and December 1986.

Interview with T. Jousse and N. Saada, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), November 1990.

"Un moment étoile de l'humanite," interview with J. A. Gili and others, in Positif (Paris), January 1992.

Interview with Geoff Andrew, in Time Out (London), 18 March 1992.


On PICCOLI: book—

Chazal, Robert, Michel Piccoli: Le provocateur , Paris, 1989.

Blum, Heiko, R., Michel Piccoli: seine Filme, sein Leben , München, 1993.


On PICCOLI: articles—

Ciné Revue (Paris), 8 May 1980 and 8 March 1984.

Film Français (Paris), 1 March 1985.

Merigeau, P., and J. Zimmer, "Toujours jouer le metteur en scène," in Revue du Cinéma , (Paris), September 1991.

Sartor, F., "Rivette, Piccoli & Béart," in Film en Televisie + Video (Brussels), November 1991.

Deville, M., "Le film de ma vie," in Positif (Paris), June 1994.

Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), July-August 1997.


* * *


In a career spanning six decades and encompassing more than 130 films by major European directors, Michel Piccoli deservedly enjoys an international reputation as an accomplished, versatile actor. His repertoire extends from anodyne comic roles to those stamped by ferocious black humor, from the gentle and compassionate to the cynical and sadistic, from the respectable to the deliberately outrageous.

A powerful screen presence, he has constantly served his character creations. His dark, gaunt appearance in his mid-thirties lent conviction to tough, sinister roles in crime thrillers, particularly as Nuttheccio, the successful gangster of Le Doulos . Later physically imposing roles include that of Max the vice-squad detective in Max et les ferrailleurs and the ruthless Colonel Kassar in L'Attentat . The sexual charge in Piccoli's acting was regularly exploited by Luis Buñuel. After La Mort en ce jardin where he played a priest compromised by a prostitute, he became the eager womanizer Husson of Belle de jour , the frustrated Monteil pursuing his servants in Le Journal d'une femme de chambre , and the perverse sensualist de Sade in La Voie lactée .

Further perspectives on Piccoli's range are found in parts requiring a more reflective, detached, and experienced view of the world. He was the phlegmatic philosophy teacher undisturbed by horrendous events in La Décade prodigieuse ; the knowledgeable music-shop manager in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort ; the elegant opera-loving croupier Joseph of Atlantic City and in Paris brûle-t-il? the Gaullist politician Edgar Pisani. A more disturbing moral detachment is witnessed as the cynical businessman of La Curée , as the calculating and unfeeling manipulator of Benjamin , or as the callous, corrupt, and lustful lawyer of Le Trio infernal . Yet he has also played sensitive or insecure males: in Le Mépris he excelled as the self-doubting writer Paul Javal, in Les Choses de la vie he portrayed an architect torn between his mistress and family life, and in Compartiment tueurs he played the neurotic victim Cabourg.

In roles reflecting the sardonic, self-critical mood of the 1960s and 1970s Piccoli risked his established image by appearing in fiercely satirical and often scandalous films exposing the materialism, authoritarianism, gluttony, sexual depravity, and cupidity of contemporary society. His humanistic concerns are further reflected in later films by Buñuel, Godard, Tavernier, and Tovoli.

For emerging directors he extended his canon of tough characters, while in parodies of the genre he was the surly barman in Deville's Le Paltoquet indulging in murder fantasies about his clients, and in Rouffio's Mon beau-frère a tué ma soeur he was successfully teamed with Michel Serrault as an unworldly academic. Unusually cast as the victim, he was murdered by his duplicitous wife in Deville's compelling Péril en la demeure .

In studies of the jealous male losing a mistress he was impressive in Demy's Une Chambre en ville and in Deray's Maladie d'amour . Among Piccoli's most successful depictions of human complexity must rank his role in Bellochio's Salto nel vuoto as the apparently balanced, humane judge who in private is withdrawn, depressive, and despotic.

With age he has increasingly come to play the role of the father, particularly in explorations of the father/daughter relationship. In Cavani's Oltre la porta he convinced as the distraught parent of a prostitute daughter, but his most notable performances came for Doillon: as the tragic father nearing death in La Fille prodigue , and, in the emotionally intense performance of La Puritaine , as a stage director working out in dramatic terms his feelings for his wayward daughter.

Whether as gangster, glutton, sardonic observer, lustful womanizer, reflective intellectual, cynical manipulator, or the mature compassionate male, Michel Piccoli carries conviction in his accomplished variations on his powerful screen personality.

—R. F. Cousins



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