Jesse Peretz

Director, Musician
The son of THE NEW REPUBLIC's editor-in-chief, Massachusetts native Jesse Peretz left behind a bass playing stint in the Boston-based rock band The Lemonheads in order to pursue filmmaking, initially working in the ... Read more »
Born: 05/18/1968 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Director (12)

Girls 2012 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Director

Nurse Jackie 2013 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Director

Married 2014 (Tv Show)

Director

The Goodwin Games 2013 (Tv Show)

Director

Bent 2012 (Tv Show)

Director

New Girl 2012 (Tv Show)

Director

The Mindy Project 2012 (Tv Show)

Director

Our Idiot Brother 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Important Things with Demetri Martin 2009 (Tv Show)

Director

The Ex 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

The Chateau 2002 (Movie)

(Director)

First Love, Last Rites 1998 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (3)

Our Idiot Brother 2011 (Movie)

(Story By)

The Chateau 2002 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

First Love, Last Rites 1998 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))
Producer (1)

Our Idiot Brother 2011 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Biography

The son of THE NEW REPUBLIC's editor-in-chief, Massachusetts native Jesse Peretz left behind a bass playing stint in the Boston-based rock band The Lemonheads in order to pursue filmmaking, initially working in the related field of music videos. Having directed one video for The Lemonheads while still with the band, Peretz went on helm seven more, including all six videos from their successful 1992 album "It's a Shame About Ray" (their first without his musical participation). Peretz also directed videos for other Boston artists and friends like Juliana Hatfield and Superchunk. Next came "Jimmy the Cabdriver", a collaborative effort by Peretz, director Clay Tarver, and actor Donal Logue. Star of several MTV spots that debuted in June 1994, the character Jimmy McBride (played by Logue), a greasy, Boston-accented man, foisted his theories, misconceptions and opinions on anyone who had the misfortune of entering his taxi. What set Jimmy apart from other skits spoofing taxi drivers was that all he commented on was MTV and the programs, videos and artists shown on the network. Notable was the video take-off of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic", starring a carload of four different Jimmy the Cabdrivers instead of the real video's car load of four different Alanis Morissettes. In 1996, Peretz was acclaimed for his video for the Foo Fighters' "Big Me", an inspired satire on the baffling Mentos TV commercials, starring the band in the narrative as well as in mimed performance footage. The clever, colorful video soon became an MTV favorite, and won several of the networks Video Music Awards. Other Peretz-helmed videos of note include Nada Surf's "Popular", a scathing portrait of high school life. Like "Big Me", the video was fast-paced and bright, and featured stylized performance footage of the band. Longer and more lyrically literal than "Big Me", "Popular" ran like a short movie, an updated and twisted version of the 1980s teen genre. Compelling and controversial, featuring football players frolicking in the shower and promiscuous cheerleaders, Peretz's video certainly captured the mood of the darkly satirical song and was instrumental in making it such a hit.

Relationships

Anne Peretz

Mother

Sarah Flicker

Companion

Martin Peretz

Father
magazine editor-in-chief of The New Republic

EDUCATION

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts

Commonwealth School

Boston , Massachusetts

Milestones

2007

Helmed the comedy, "The Ex" starring Zach Braff and Jason Bateman

2001

Directed second feature, the digitally-shot "The Chateau", starring Paul Rudd and Donal Logue

1998

Feature film directorial debut, the independent "First Love, Last Rites"

1994

Collaborated with director Clay Tarver and actor Donal Logue to direct the "Jimmy the Cabdriver" promos (aired on MTV)

1992

Continued directing music videos for, The Lemonheads after his split from the band; helmed their 1992 hit It's a Shame About Ray

1991

After graduating Harvard, moved to New York to work in film production

1989

Directed first music video for The Lemonheads' song Mallo Cup

1986

Played bass in the Boston-based rock band, The Lemonheads

Helmed the MTV Award-winning video's Big Me by the Foo Fighters and the scathing Popular by Nada Surf

Bonus Trivia

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"First Love, Last Rites" was awarded the 1998 FIPRESCI Award from the Rotterdam International Film Festival "for its challenge to the dominant American narrative through its unexpected concentration on mood, atmosphere and sexual mystery."

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He directed all six music videos from The Lemonheads' 1992 album "It's a Shame About Ray", a video for "Being Around" from the following album "Come on Feel" in 1993, and while still in the band, directed his first music video for The Lemonheads' "Mallo Cup".

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"Big Me" was awarded Best Group Video in the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.

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"I fear my biggest liability as a director may be my obsession with empty, noncommunicative space as subject matter." --Jesse Peretz quoted in VILLAGE VOICE, August 13, 1998

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Peretz on his musical background: "People call me a musician which I never think of myself as at all. I can barely play simple songs on the guitar now. I was a really mediocre bass player in a stupid punk band. However, I've always been musically obsessed. I was a nerdy college radio DJ, obsessed with obscure punk rock and I do feel like I care about music a lot." --From INDIEWIRE, August 7, 1998

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