Veteran French Filmmaker Alain Resnais Has Passed Away at Age 91
Few filmmakers leave a legacy behind in cinema that will last generations, and even fewer have a career that truly spans decades. French director Alain Resnais was one of those rarities behind the camera whose career began way back in 1946 and lasted up until his death on Saturday in Paris at age 91 (as reported by New York Times), not too long after his last film The Life of Riley premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The filmmaker never won an Oscar, but took home a BAFTA, saw several nominations and wins at the César Awards in France, and countless accolades at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. More below.
Resnais is a name that only true cinephiles and students of film will know with iconic films such as Hiroshima, mon amour (starring Oscar nominee Emanuelle Riva), Last Year at Marienbad, Je t’taime, je t’aime, Night and Fog, Providence and Mon oncle d’Amérique. More recent work includes Same Old Song, Not on the Lips, I Want to Go Home and Wild Grass, which was released in 2009, the same year he received a lifetime achievement from the Cannes Film Festival. Upon receiving the award, Resnais said, "I’ve read articles calling me a filmmaker of memory. I’ve always refused that label by saying, ‘No, I want to make films that describe the imaginary. ”
There's not much more that can be said about a man who lived such a long life and left such an impression on film. If this is the first you're hearing of a filmmaker like Resnais, let this be a call to seek out films and directors outside of your comfort zome, and broaden your horizons outside of the films Hollywood and the well known names of the entertainment industry throw our way. Resnais was a true original and visionary, and it's very likely that many general audiences have no idea who he is, but that doesn't lessen the value of his work and his contributions to film that will stand the test of time. Rest in peace.