Michèle Rosier (1930-2017) was a pioneering fashion designer (she created the vinyl-intensive V de V sportswear label), a journalist who worked as editor of the women’s lifestyle magazine Le Noveau Femina, and an avowed leftist. She also had a 40+ year career behind the camera, directing several documentaries for French television as well as a handful of theatrical features, most famously the George Sand biopic GEORGE QUI?, starring Anne Wiazemsky. Rosier’s cumulative body of work is staggering, and the movies bely an utterly idiosyncratic filmmaking sensibility: wryly funny, curious about people, jazz-suffused (with scores by Mal Waldron, Keith Jarrett and Aldo Romano) and forever interrogating the limits of liberation in post-1968 France. (Spectacle)

Michèle Rosier and Darius Khondji : Embrasse-Moi, set, 1988

To discover Michèle Rosier through her films is to embrace the surprising trajectory of an optimist aesthete born in Paris in the summer of 1930. It is to meet a woman who’s wandering mind stayed true to George Sand. It is to appreciate the work of an auteur driven by a whimsical creative folly. A few lines of chronological bio would not suffice to introduce her… These few excerpts from her notes or from the words of journalists allow a glimpse at her.

“Return to fiction after ten years of “creative” documentaries. A desire to tell a story at once funny and sad. Simple and deep. A desire to come back to camera movements that are consistent with the actors’ movements. A desire to make a beautiful film, a good film. A desire to have a rich and precise sound that one can never have in a documentary. Would it be one film more, or a film more this more that? To decide whether this story is banal or exemplary, this filmmaker obstinate or passionate? If I waited to turn forty in order to make films it is because I was in doubt, so you can imagine that these notes are not my strongest suit. But I am alight with good intentions, how can I persuade anyone?”

Michèle Rosier –production note for Embrasse-moi (1988) handwritten rough draft

« There isn’t much we know about Michèle Rosier, except that she is an old hand. Discreet filmmaker since 1973 (a dozen films, fictions and documentaries) after having dabbled in journalism and scale modelling in the 50’s and 60’s. We will remember a photograph from the press kit where she is seen kneeling by her camera and clinging to it. She looks radiant, as if joking. From behind the sunglasses, a mischievous, emancipated and impertinent air.”

Excerpt from the Critikat review of “Ah ! la libido”, by Arnaud Hée (2009)

“I observe reality through a woman’s gaze. Albeit a tender one, on everything that is alive (…). In my films assessments are always a bit bitter, but I keep a positive attitude towards everything… I have no choice but to.”

Michèle Rosier, 1988, interview by Nicholas Choffel of the Quotidien de Paris on the set of Embrasse-moi.

" Michèle Rosier Born in Paris in 1930 1947 Reporter, then subeditor at France Soir 1956 Chief editor of the monthly “Nouveau Fémina” 1960 Becomes a designer 1973 Writes and directs “George qui ?”, feature film starring Anne Wiazemsky in the role of George Sand.”

Bio in press kit for “Mon coeur est rouge” (1976)

“A pioneer of feminist French cinema, director of a rather confidential body of work, Michèle Rosier puts to film the daily realities of women with finesse and clarity. A discreet and generous filmmaker, author of six feature films in the span of 35 years (1972-2007), the critic Michel Boujut describes her as a “portraitist with bird feet who always knew how to tell and show through her models the quivering of beings, their heartache, their urges and impulses”.”

Michèle Rosier’s biography in Ciné Ressources (Cinémathèque Française)

Entretien avec Michèle Rosier - 2016 - La Cinémathèque Française







1963 LAUCH OF V DE V founder of the brand Vêtements de Vacances, pioneer of French sportswear

1966 COSTUME DESIGNER for Raquel Welch in Fathom (Leslie H. Martinson)

1967 COSTUME DESIGNER for Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road (Stanley Donen) 1973 RELEASE OF GEORGE QUI ?, first fiction film on the troubled life of George Sand, starring Anne Wiazemsky, appearance by philosopher Gilles Deleuze

1976 RELEASE OF MON COEUR EST ROUGE Bruno Nuytten’s camera tracks the encounters of a woman (Françoise Lebrun) underscored by Keith Jarrett’s music

1976 TV DOCUMENTARY Le Futur des femmes

1977 TV DOCUMENTARY La dame aux oiseaux about Swedish actress and director Mai Zetterling

1978 TV DOCUMENTARY Le Grand Jour documentary about a wedding in Aubervilliers

1979 OPERA COSTUME DESIGNER Abu Hassan (Michel Rostain)

1980 TV DOCUMENTARY Mimi et Un Café

1982 TV DOCUMENTARY Le Gros départ

1983-1986 THEATRE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR L’Ordinaire and Les Voisins (Michel Vinaver and Alain Françon)

1988 RELEASE OF EMBRASSE-MOI autobiographical fiction about the passage from childhood to teenagehood denounces the selfishness and indifference of adults

1995 RELEASE OF PULLMAN PARADIS a road-movie through Normandy with Charles Berling, Françoise Lebrun and Eva Ionesco

2000 RELEASE OF MALRAUX TU M’ÉTONNES celebrating the centenary of his birth, this film is an audacious and rigorous portrait of the French writer and politician. 2003 DOCUMENTARY DEMAIN ON COURT about Jean-Paul Gallorini’s racing stable at Maisons-Laffitte

2004 DOCUMENTARY SORAYA A AUBERVILLIERS Michèle films Soraya again after meeting her on the shoot of Un Grand Jour in 1978

2009 RELEASE OF AH LA LIBIDO at 80-years-old, she directs a fiction about four women disappointed by love

2015 UN AN APRÈS… Anne Wiazemsky’s autobiography, in which she mentions the name of her friend Michèle Rosier

2016 FRENCH CINEMATHEQUE a retrospective is dedicated to the filmmaker

2017 RELEASE OF LE REDOUTABLE Based on the book by Anne Wiazemsky, Michèle Rosier is played by Bérénice Béjo in this film directed by Michel Hazanavicius