Bertrand Tavernier, veteran French director of Round Midnight, dies aged 79

Acclaimed film-maker won a string of awards for a wide variety of films, including crime and film noir, as well as his celebrated film about a jazz musician

Bertrand Tavernier, the veteran French director of a host of acclaimed films including A Sunday in the Country, Round Midnight and These Foolish Things, has died aged 79. The news was announced by the Institut Lumière, the film organisation of which he was president. No cause of death was given.

Tavernier’s output was prolific: he made his directorial debut in 1974 with The Clockmaker of St Paul and worked continuously until 2013, when he released his final feature film, The French Minister. He also took in a wide variety of material, from crime and noir, to comedy, jazz and historical drama.

Born in Lyon in 1941, Tavernier was the son of magazine publisher René Tavernier, whose anti-Nazi principles would greatly influence Bertrand. Like the generation of French New Wave directors that slightly preceded him, Tavernier grew up as a film obsessive; having moved to Paris after the war, he founded his own magazine and managed to get a job as an assistant director to Jean-Pierre Melville on the 1961 film Léon Morin, Prêtre. By his own admission, he was so bad as an AD that Melville instead made him the publicist for its follow-up, Le Doulos. It was in this role that Tavernier made his first mark in the film industry, working as a publicist on a series of New Wave classics, including Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt and Agnés Varda’s Cleo de 5 à 7. “We were the first film publicists who were film buffs – we only accepted the films we liked,” he told the Guardian in 2008.

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RIP Juliette Gréco

Juliette Gréco, the singing muse of bohemian postwar Paris who became the grande dame of chanson française and an internationally known actress, died on Wednesday at her home near Saint-Tropez. She was 93.

Her family announced the death in a statement sent to the news agency Agence France-Presse.

Juliette Greco with Miles Davis

For almost seven decades, Ms. Gréco was a loyal practitioner of the musical tradition known as chanson française, a specific storytelling genre of popular music. The songs are “like little plays,” she told The New York Times in 1999, adding: “They’re typically French. We’re a people who express our love in songs, our anger in songs, even our revolution in songs.”

She was the darling of critics, as well as of the intellectuals whose world she inhabited. Ms. Gréco’s ultimate rave review came from a friend, the Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who said simply, “Gréco has a million poems in her voice.”

Her signature hits included “Sous le Ciel de Paris” (“Under Paris Skies”), “Les Feuilles Mortes” (which English speakers know as “Autumn Leaves”), “Déshabillez-Moi” (“Undress Me”), “Jolie Môme” (“Pretty Kid”) and “Je Suis Comme Je Suis” (“I Am What I Am”). -Source: NY Times

French new wave star Anna Karina dies aged 79 

Karina was best known for the string of films she made with Jean-Luc Godard, including A Woman Is a Woman and Pierrot le Fou

Danish-French actor Anna Karina, star of Bande à Part and Pierrot le Fou and collaborator with New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, has died of cancer at the age of 79, her agent said.

Karina, who epitomised 1960s chic with her elfin features and big kohl-rimmed blue eyes, starred in seven films made by her ex-husband Godard, including Alphaville.

“Anna died yesterday in a Paris hospital of the effects of cancer,” her agent Laurent Balandras told AFP, adding that she passed away in the company of her fourth husband, American director Dennis Berry.

“Today, French cinema has been orphaned. It has lost one of its legends,” culture minister Franck Riester tweeted.

Karina was still a teenager when she hitchhiked to Paris from her native Denmark to try to become an actress. She developed a successful modelling career before being spotted by Godard while walking along the Champs-Elysees. Godard offered her a nude scene in Breathless, his first film, but she refused.

They were a couple when, at barely 21, she won best actress at the Berlin film festival for his 1961 film A Woman is a Woman. They divorced in 1965. “We loved each other a lot,” Karina told AFP in an interview in Paris in March 2018. “But it was complicated to live with him,” she added.

“He was someone who could say to you, ‘I am going to get some cigarettes’ and come back three weeks later.”

She later went behind the camera to make Vivre Ensemble, a romance between a history teacher and a free spirited young woman that ends in drugs and domestic violence.

Karina also had some success as a singer, recording Sous Le Soleil Exactement with Serge Gainsbourg.

Source: French new wave star Anna Karina dies aged 79 | Film | The Guardian

Marie Laforêt, French singer and actress ‘with the golden eyes,’ dies at 80

She sold more than 35 million records and starred in “Purple Noon,” based on the novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Marie Laforêt, an actress and singer who became one of the most captivating French performers of the 1960s and ’70s and who was known for her piercing eyes, melancholy voice and freewheeling approach to fame, died Nov. 2 in Genolier, Switzerland, 20 miles north of Geneva. She was 80.

Her family announced the death but did not give a cause. In a tweet, French Culture Minister Franck Riester wrote that Ms. Laforêt “embodied a form of total freedom. Freedom in her artistic choices, freedom in her life, with love and passion as her only guides.”

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