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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Rest in Peace, Ennio Morricone

Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91.

The Italian musician, who scored more than 400 films and TV shows (including the soundtrack of “The Mission” performed in the accompanying YouTube video), died on Monday (6 July) at the Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, a week after suffering a fall in which he broke his femur. His death was confirmed by his lawyer, Giorgio Assumma.

Born in 1928, Morricone began his career as a trumpet player before turning to film composition in 1961, going on to create music for more than 70 award-winning movies.

In 1966, Morricone composed the iconic soundtrack to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, a score so influential it earned him a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.

Morricone also composed music for The Untouchables (1987), Cinema Paradiso (1988) and The Best Offer (2013).

Shortly after his 90th birthday, Morricone played his final ever tour dates in June 2019, marking the last time he conducted his own music.

SOURCE: The Independent

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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