Influential French filmmaker and critic Jacques Rivette, the director of such classics as Celine and Julie Go Boating, L’amour fou, and La Belle Noisuese, died today.
Like many of the innovative artists of the French New Wave, Rivette made his name as a critic for the esteemed Cahiers du Cinéma, where he wrote alongside such legends as Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, and André Bazin. After a decade as a contributor, Rivette took over as editor in 1963, though he’d already released his debut feature, Paris Belongs to Us, a critical (if not commercial) success.
His breakthrough came in 1967 with the release of the controversial La Religieuse (The Nun). He would make a total of 20 features over nearly 50 years; his final film was 2009’s Around a Small Mountain. Yet delightfully (and unexpectedly), he was one of last year’s most discussed filmmakers, thanks to the restoration and re-release of his 12 ½ hour masterpiece Out 1, which became the must-see cinephile event of the year.
Rivette reportedly spent the past several years struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87.