Jeanne & the perfect guy

Director: Jacques Martineau and Olivier Ducastel

France 1998| 35mm| 98 mins French/English s/t

The first film from the Martineau-Ducastel team, Jeanne is not easy to categorise: it is a musical about AIDS with moments of exhilarating fantasy and absolutely bursts with the joy of loving. Reminiscent of Jacques Demy’s musicals like Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964), Jeanne combines sharp social and political comment with often ravishing musical numbers.
Working as a receptionist for a travel agency, Jeanne lives simply and waits for the love of her life to turn up. One day she meets Olivier on the Paris metro and quickly knows that she has finally met the man of her dreams. But then she learns that Olivier is HIV-positive, and, eventually, as his illness takes over, he disappears from Jeanne’s life and goes back to his family to die. A story line pitch-perfect for a sentimental melodrama but Ducastel and Martineau place themselves outside the canons of the romance genre and in doing so have given us a clever and uncompromising work.
Jeanne and the Perfect Guy, which won the 1999 Cesar and the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2000, is not only unclassifiable, it is quite simply unique.

Following the screening, Jacques Martineau and Olivier Ducastel will talk to Paul Connell about their work.

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