Master filmmaker Eric Rohmer dies
by Fabien Lemercier
Reactions have been pouring in after the announcement that director Eric Rohmer died in Paris on Monday, aged 89.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute “to the talent and truthfulness of a great auteur". Meanwhile, Prime Minister François Fillon paid homage to a "filmmaker of subtlety(…) who has for a long time been a classic of French cinema" and Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand praised "an all-round man of film and, at the same time, a perfect embodiment of the great bygone literary tradition of analysts of the heart."
Véronique Cayla, president of the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC), said that Rohmer "leaves behind a powerful and eminently personal body of work: thanks to a unique cinematic style combining subtle narrative, clear dialogues and brilliantly simple direction."
Finally, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, president of Unifrance, said the director "symbolised a certain French spirit comprised of elegance, subtlety and seductiveness."
Born on April 4, 1920 under the name of Jean-Marie Maurice Schérer, Rohmer was one of the major figures of the New Wave. Having worked as a critic (editor-in-chief of the Cahiers du cinéma from 1957-1963), he founded Les Films du Losange in 1962 with Barbet Schroeder.
Having begun his filmmaking career with The Sign Of Leo in 1959, he made a total of 24 features and won honours at major festivals. He was selected twice in competition at Cannes with Six Moral Tales III: My Night at Maud’s in 1969 (also nominated for the 1971 Best Screenplay Oscar) and The Marquise of O…, which scooped the Grand Prize in 1976.
At Berlin, he picked up the Special Jury Prize in 1967 for The Collector and a Silver Bear in 1983 for Pauline at the Beach, as well as taking part in competition in 1992 and 2004. Winner of the Golden Lion in 1986 for The Green Ray, at Venice he also won the Golden Osella for Best Screenplay for Autumn Tale in 1998 and was selected there again in 2007 with his final feature Romance of Astrea and Celadon [+see also:
The Venice Film Festival awarded the director a Golden Lion for Career Achievement in 2001. Rohmer’s accolades also include the Golden Seashell at San Sebastian in 1971 for Claire’s Knee, which also earned him the Louis-Delluc Prize.
(Translated from French)
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