Directs "The Spanish Apartment," the first in a trilogy
Directs first full length feature, "Riens du tout"
<p>French writer/director Cédric Klapisch won a devoted following among critics and arthouse devotees, who flocked to his wry trio of hit comedy-dramas - "L'Auberge Espagnole" ("The Spanish Apartment," 2002), "Les Poupées russes" ("Russian Dolls," 2004) and "Casse-tête chinois" ("Chinese Puzzle," 2013) - which crystallized his key interest in the complexity of personal relationships among small groups of individuals. Born September 4, 1961 in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, Klapisch began his film studies at the University of Paris III and University of Paris VIII. After being rejected twice from France's state film school, Institut des hautes études cinématographiques, Klapisch continued his education at New York University. Klapisch then worked on a variety of projects, from short films and industrials to documentaries for French television, before making his feature film debut with "Riens du Tout" ("Little Nothings," 1992), about the offbeat efforts of a newly minted CEO to save his failed department store. The gentle comedy was followed by "La Péril jeune" ("The Good Old Daze," 1994), a drama about former high school friends reminiscing about their final year of school. Initially broadcast for television, the project was a critical and ratings success, and earned a theatrical release two years later. More significantly, it served as Klapisch's first collaboration with his frequent leading man, Romain Duris. Klapish scored two more hits with a pair of diametrically opposed features: "Chacun cherche son chat" ("When the Cat's Away," 1996), a drama about the diverse personalities in a Bastille neighborhood, and "Un air de famille" ("Family Resemblances," 1996), which followed a family birthday celebration as it collapsed under the weight of old grudges. The latter picture earned three César Awards, including Best Writing for Klapisch's script with Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri. When his next effort, "Ni pour, ni contre (bien au contraire)" ("Not For, or Against (Quite the Contrary)," 2003) ran into challenges during production, Klapisch took advantage of the interim by writing "The Spanish Apartment," a comedy about a young French student (Duris) who leaves his girlfriend (Audrey Tautou) to become entangled in romantic complications while studying in Barcelona. Its frothy mix of interpersonal drama and comedy provided him with a box office hit, as well as a very popular franchise of sorts, in which he followed the adventures of his main characters as they progressed from young adulthood to middle age. A sequel, "Russian Dolls," saw Duris lurch uneasily into a committed relationship with Londoner Wendy (Kelly Reilly), while "Chinese Puzzle" picks up after the collapse of their marriage and his decision to follow Wendy to New York. Between these films, Klapisch directed "Paris" (2008), an ensemble drama about a diverse array of characters whose lives intersect in a myriad of complicated manners. </p>