Jean-Pierre Jeunet, by Debbie Cerda

A small, surreal bit of France descended upon SXSW this year: filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose earlier films include Delicatessen, Amelie and A Very Long Engagement. Jeunet was in Austin to present his latest film, Micmacs(aka Micmacs a tire-larigot -- read our review here), a comedy about a man who survives a gunshot wound and has to start life fresh with a new set of people ... and as in many Jeunet films, all these people are all charmingly eccentric, and some quite surreal antics result. You can read my review of the comedy from SXSW -- let's just say that I liked it so much that although I saw the movie at a press screening before I interviewed Jeunet, I then went to the Paramount that night and watched it again. Micmacs opens on Friday in limited release, and I haven't decided whether I'll see it a third time when it reaches Austin. (Probably.)

I was pleased to be able to sit down with Jeunet for a few minutes during SXSW to talk about Micmacs and some of his other films. We were accompanied by a translator -- the interview was in English, but occasionally Jeunet needed a colloquial phrase or slang explained to him. This was a difficult interview to transcribe because he was so funny, I kept giggling, making it difficult to hear him on the audio recording. I hope his humor translates to the written word. Special thanks to Debbie Cerda for taking the above photo on the SXSW red carpet that night. If you ever plan to visit Montmartre, especially the cafe where Amelie was shot, study this photo carefully before you go. You'll find out why in the following interview.