Death of French filmmaker and New Wave figure Jacques Rozier at 96

The French filmmaker Jacques Rozier, figure of the New Wave and author of many films including Adieu Philippine and Maine Océan, died at the age of 96 on the night of Thursday, June 1 to Friday, June 2, announced Saturday, June 3 his collaborator Michèle Berson.

French director Jacques Rozier (right) plays with French-Portuguese actor Luis Rego during a presentation of the film "Fifi martingale", September 5, 2001. © Gabriel Bouys / AFP

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He died in hospital on the night of Thursday to Friday, said Michèle Berson who 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 the filmmakers of the New Wave, Rozier is the one who rambles. The one who likes everything to go wrong, to better feed his very particular sense of dramaturgy".

(Quote from the beautiful text of @lepastier written on the occasion of the Rozier retrospective @cinemathequefr 2 years ago:

— La Cinémathèque (@cinemathequefr) June 3, 2023

The New Wave movement, born in the late 1950s, intended to break with classical cinematographic techniques in favor of experimentation and an individualistic, even iconoclastic approach. In addition to Jacques Rozier, his most emblematic figures are Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy and Eric Rohmer.

Prix Jean Vigo 1986 for Maine Océan, Prix René Clair 1997 for all of his work, Carrosse d'or 2002 in Cannes, Jacques Rozier directed Adieu Philippine (1962) - chronicle of youth against the backdrop of the Algerian war - Du côté d'Orouët (1973) and Les naufragés de l'île de la tortue (1976). That's four films in more than half a century.

He shot two others, Fifi martingale (2001), never released in theaters, and Le perroquet parisien (2007), which remained unfinished.

He has also shot about twenty short films, often noticed, and worked for television.


He was an independent filmmaker, free. " said Ms. Berson, he worked "without a preconceived script in advance" and had an ability to "render the present".

In 2019, Jean-Luc Godard (who has since died) also saluted the trace left by Jacques Rozier in French cinema: "When Agnès Varda died, I thought: the real New Wave, we are only two. Me and (...) Jacques Rozier who started a little before me ».

(With AFP)

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