French art-house legend Eric Rohmer has died, Agence France Presse reported Monday. The director passed away Monday morning in Paris at the age of 89 after being hospitalized last week.
A veteran and pioneer of the New Wave, Rohmer made 24 films over a period of 50 years. His last, Les Amours D’Astree Et De Celadon, appeared at the Venice Film Festival in 2007. In presenting the film at Venice that year, he said, “After this film, I think I’ll retire.”
Rohmer was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for 1969’s My Night At Maud’s. Among his myriad other well-known titles were: Love In The Afternoon, Pauline At The Beach, A Good Marriage, The Green Ray, A Winter’s Tale and The Aviator’s Wife.
His dialogue-dominated character dramas usually focused on the relationships between men and women were often filmed as part of themed series - Moral Tales, Comedies And Proverbs, Tales Of The Four Seasons - but he also enjoyed historical or literary pieces like Perceval Le Gallois, The Lady And The Duke and The Marquise Of O for which he won the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes in 1976.
Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux said in a statement released to AFP, “With apparent lightness, he infused his films with a rigor that placed him amongst the greatest directors in history.”