It was sad to learn this past Saturday of the passing of one of the most famous French filmmakers.
Alain Resnais, whose movies were a staple of movie art houses worldwide in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at age 91, reports The New York Times. He died in Paris. No cause of death was reported.
Writes movie critic Dave Kehr in the Times obituary, "It was a 1955 synthesis of newly shot and newsreel footage that established Mr. Resnais’ reputation: ‘Night and Fog,’ a quietly powerful exhortation to the French, and the world, to remember the Nazi death camps at a time when their horrors were fading into willed amnesia."
That powerful film, which only runs 32 minutes, was later joined by Resnais’ full-length features "Hiroshima, Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad" as three essential movies that were shown all the time in the movie art houses that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
According to an article about the Criterion Collection’s home DVD release of "Night and Fog," the late Francois Truffaut, himself a well-known director and film critic, once called that short movie "the greatest film ever made." In French the film is called "Nuit et brouillard."
Kehr adds in the obituary, "Mr Resnais had a full head of white hair that the French newspaper Le Monde said he had sported for so long that one could forget he was ever young. He exhibited a youthful energy well into his 80s and was working on drafts of his next project from his hospital bed when he died, the producer Jean-Louis Livi said."