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Chéreau, Patrice (1944-2013)  
page: 1  2  

Still, most of his films feature gay themes and characters, and many of them seem to incorporate aspects of his own experience. The coming out story The Wounded Man, for example, interweaves elements from Jean Genet's The Thief with the director's own memories as a gay adolescent.

Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train focuses on the train journey made by a group of relatives and friends from Paris to Limoges to attend the wake and funeral of their common acquaintance, the manipulative bisexual painter Jean Baptiste Emmerich.

In its analysis of human relationships, Those Who Love Me contrasts biological and elective families, and examines the networks into which we are born and those to which we choose to belong.

His Brother also deals with family relationships, as two estranged brothers--the terminally-ill heterosexual Thomas who suffers from a mysterious blood disease and the homosexual Luc--are reunited. The film challenges conventional AIDS narratives where the healthy brother is usually the heterosexual who looks after his dying gay sibling. The film was to some extent influenced by Chéreau's broken relationship with his own brother.

Finally, the lunatic gay stalker in Persecution initially shocks the object of his desire, the dark and handsome Daniel, who violently rejects him, but eventually he becomes a sort of confidant for Daniel's problems with his fiancée Sonia.

Chéreau was also an actor. Perhaps his best-known role is that of General Montcalm in Michael Mann's adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans (1992).

In 2010, Chéreau curated a multi-media show at the Louvre called "Les Visages et les Corps" ("Faces and Bodies"), which juxtaposed images from paintings, dance, opera, theater, and film.

Although his work in film came to eclipse his work in theater, in 2011 Chéreau made his English theatrical debut with a production of I Am the Wind by Norwegian playwright Jan Fosse.

Chéreau was awarded the Berlin Film Festival's Silver Bear as Best Director for His Brother in 2003, while Intimacy won the Golden Bear as Best Film two years earlier. Queen Margot was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.

Chéreau has also won two César Awards: best screenplay for The Wounded Man and best director for Those Who Love Me. He received the Career Achievement Award at the 2009 Chicago International Film Festival.

For many years, Chéreau maintained a romantic relationship with actor Pascal Greggory, whom he directed in several films and plays.

Chéreau died on October 7, 2013 of complications from lung cancer.

Luca Prono

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arts >> Overview:  European Film

Since the 1960s, European film has included significant gay-themed films, many of them directed by openly gay and lesbian directors.

arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Gay Male

Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Directors

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual film directors have been a vital creative presence in cinema since the medium's inception over one hundred years ago.

arts >> Overview:  Film Spectatorship

Film spectatorship is an integral part of queer culture, affording a process of self-invention and making possible the coded articulation of queer desires and identities.

literature >> Overview:  French Theater

French-speaking theater has a long history of depicting male and female homosexuals and in exploring the complexities of homosexual life.

arts >> Overview:  Opera

Opera, an eclectic synthesis of voice, drama, music, costume, visual arts and spectacle, has played an integral role in queer culture since its development in seventeenth century Venice.

arts >> Overview:  Screenwriters

Although film may be a director's rather than a writer's medium, gay and lesbian screenwriters have made significant contributions to both mainstream and independent film.

arts >> Bacon, Francis

Widely recognized as Britain's most important twentieth-century painter, Francis Bacon creates beautifully composed works featuring violent subject matter that at once repels and attracts.

literature >> Genet, Jean

Jean Genet's work has left a powerful legacy to post-modernity and remains a provocation to questions of gay identity.

literature >> Guibert, Hervé

Prolific French journalist and novelist Hervé Guibert achieved fame because of his last three books, which recounted in semi-fictionalized form his struggle with the HIV virus.

literature >> Shakespeare, William

As one of the key figures that western civilization has used to define itself, William Shakespeare stands in a complicated, fiercely contested relationship to homosexuality.


Ehrenstein, David. "Brother Bare". The Advocate (April 13, 2004):

Fancy, David. "Patrice Chéreau. Staging the European Crisis." Contemporary European Theatre Directors. Maria Delgado and Dan Rebellato, eds. Oxford: Routledge, 2010. 49-68.

Moss, Stephens. "Patrice Chéreau: 'It's OK To Be Hated.'" The Guardian (April 25, 2011):

Pidduck, Julianne. La Reine Margot. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005.

Rees-Robert, Nick. French Queer Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008.


    Citation Information
    Author: Prono, Luca  
    Entry Title: Chéreau, Patrice  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2011  
    Date Last Updated October 12, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2011 glbtq, Inc.  


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