(Paris) French filmmaker Jacques Rozier, figure of the New Wave and author of a handful of films including “Adieu Philippine” and “Maine Océan”, died at the age of 96, announced his collaborator at AFP.
He died in hospital overnight from Thursday to Friday, said Michèle Berson, who had worked with him for fifteen years.
“Jacques Rozier has just left us. He was freedom itself, and we will miss him terribly, ”responded the Cinémathèque française, which paid tribute to him on Twitter. “Of New Wave filmmakers, Rozier is the one who wanders. The one who likes everything to go wrong, to better fuel his very particular sense of dramaturgy”.
The New Wave movement, born at the end of the 1950s, intended to break with classic cinematographic techniques in favor of experimentation and an individualistic, even iconoclastic approach. Besides Jacques Rozier, its most emblematic figures are Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy and Eric Rohmer.
Jean Vigo Prize 1986 for Maine Océan, René Clair Prize 1997 for all of his work, Carrosse d’or 2002 at the Cannes Film Festival, Jacques Rozier directed Adieu Philippine (1962), a chronicle of youth against a backdrop of war in Algeria, On the Side of Orouët (1973) and The Castaways of Turtle Island (1976). Four films in more than half a century…
He shot two others, Fifi martingale (2001), never released in theaters, and Le parroquet parisien (2007), which remained unfinished.
He has also made about twenty short films, often noticed, and worked for television.
“He was an independent, free filmmaker,” Ms. Berson pointed out, he worked “without a preconceived script in advance” and had an ability to “restore the present.”
In 2019, Jean-Luc Godard (since deceased) also hailed the mark left by Jacques Rozier in French cinema: “When Agnès Varda died, I thought: the real New Wave, there are only two of us. Me and […] Jacques Rozier who started a little before me”.