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Former assistant to Max Ophuls and Marcel Carne who showed considerable directorial promise with his first two features. "Life Upside Down" (1964) was a wryly observed account of a man's withdrawal from reality into fantasy and "Comic Strip Hero" (1967) used trick photography to blend the real world with that of a strip cartoon; both were distinctive and imaginative films that presaged a bright career. In the following decades, however, Jessua's output has been minimal. His later works, like "En Toute innocence" (1988), are accomplished, if unexceptional, entertainments.
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