Jean-Jacques Beineix won acclaim for his 1981 debut as a writer, director, "Diva," the story of a music-loving letter carrier who bootlegs the tapes of an opera star only to have them mixed up with tapes that will incriminate mobsters. Few other of his works have been so well received internationally. Beineix began as an assistant director, working for Claude Zidi on "L'Animal" (1977), and to the American Willard Huyck on "French Postcards" (1979), among others. He made his first short film in 1977, "Le Chien de Monsieur Marcel," which won first prize at the Trouville Festival. Beineix' "Betty Blue" (1986) was nominated for the best foreign language Oscar, although the 192-minute story of a jack-of-all-trades traveling and having sex with an mentally unsound woman while they both wait for her to crack up, was edited for theatres and is available in its full version only on video.