His latest film, The Life of Riley, premiered in Berlin.
Veteran French filmmaker Alain Resnais has died at the age of 91.
His death — in Paris on Saturday — comes just weeks after his latest film, The Life Of Riley (Aimer, boire et chanter), premiered at the Berlinale, where it won the FIPRESCI prize and the Alfred Bauer Prize (see Screen’s review here).
The director will be remembered as part of the French New Wave, while also changing with the times in subsequent decades — his prolific career includes nearly 50 features.
His 1959 Hiroshima Mon Amour was Oscar nominated for best screenplay. He won Venice’s Golden Lion in 1969 for Last Year at Marienbad, and Berlin’s Silver Bears for best director for Smoking/No Smoking and The Same Old Song. He first attracted attention with his 1955 documentary Night and Fog, a BAFTA nominated portrait of Nazi concentration camps.
Dieter Kosslick, festival director of the Berlinale, said: “We mourn a great artist and cinematic innovator, and a radical director who reminded us of the political and human atrocities of the 20th century with works such as Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog) and Hiroshima, mon amour.”
Cannes honoured Resnais with a lifetime achievement award in 2009. Previously, he won a Cannes Special Jury prize for My American Uncle in 1980. His 2012 You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet was in Cannes Competition.
His producer Jean-Louis Livi said Resnais had been working on a new script at the time of his death.