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Over the past few decades, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has become a powerful force in contemporary cinema. Between his first feature Desordre (1986) and such major works as L'Eau froide, Irma Vep, Les Destinees Sentimentales, demonlover and, most recently, L'Heure d'ete and Carlos, he has charted an exciting path, strongly embracing narrative and character and simultaneously dealing with the 'fragmentary reality' of life in a global ecomy. He also brought a fresh perspective to the problem of politics after '68, a subject that he revisits in his memoir A Post-May Adolescence (published as a companion book to this volume) and in his most recent film Apres-Mai. This first English-language book about Olivier Assayas includes a major essay by Kent Jones, based on his two decades of correspondence and exchanges of ideas with the filmmaker, as well as contributions from Assayas and his most important artistic collaborators. The central part consists of individual essays on each of his works, written by Chris Chang, Larry Gross, Howard Hampton, Kristin M. Jones, B. Kite, Glenn Kenny, Michael Koresky, Alice Lovejoy, Greil Marcus, Geoffrey O'Brien, Jeff Reichert, Richard Suchenski, and Gina Telaroli.
Kent Jones is an internationally recognized writer and filmmaker. He writes regularly for Film Comment and his work has appeared in many magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and catalogues. In 2007, Wesleyan University Press published Physical Evidence, a selection of his writings. In 2009, he was appointed Executive Director of The World Cinema Foundation. He has worked with Martin Scorsese on numerous projects and documentary films including My Voyage to Italy (1999), Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) which he wrote and directed, and the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning A Letter to Elia (2010). He is preparing a feature film, It Never Entered My Mind, for the winter of 2012.