Monday, June 5

Jean-Louis Trintignant, icon of French cinema, dies at 91



The actor Jean-Louis Trintignant He has died at the age of 91. Icon of French auteur cinema, in 2018 he announced that he was retiring from cinema and from life. He said that he was too old to endure a shoot and too tired to continue fighting the cancer that was consuming him and that, finally, this Friday he ended up defeating him, as confirmed by his wife, Marianne Hoepfner.

In ‘The most beautiful years of a life’, his last role and sequel to ‘A man and a woman’, he was really sick and only appeared sitting outside a nursing home talking to his young love, Anouk Aimee. “It was magical. Jean-Louis has the most beautiful voice in the worldIt’s the only thing left to him.

He can’t walk, he can barely see, that’s why I built the film around his voice,” said the director of both titles, Claude Lelouch.

In reality, the interpreter of ‘And God created women’ or ‘Rojo’ said he had been dead since 2003, when his daughter Marie was murdered by his partner, the rock singer Bertrand Cantet, who beat him up It caused a cerebral edema. In 2007, the musician was released from prison after a conviction for voluntary manslaughter, while Jean-Louis Trintignant did not regain the strength to film anything until 2012, the year in which Michael Haneke directed him in the unsettling ‘Love’.

In 'Love, by Haneke
In ‘Love, by Haneke

Active since 1956, Jean-Louis Trintignant had worked on more than a hundred films together with such illustrious names as Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, Dino Risi, Costa-Gavras, Eric Rohmer… For history leaves a handful of key works of European cinematography. A career in which he was always accompanied by the favor of critics. Since 1969, at Cannes, where he won the best actor award for ‘Z’, by Costa Gavras; and a year before, in Berlin, where he did the same for his performance in ‘The Man Who Lies’, by Alain Robbe-Grillet, until 2012, where he lifted the César -the French Oscar- for ‘Love’ .

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Jean-Louis Trintignant and Brigitte Bardot in 'And God Created Woman'
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Brigitte Bardot in ‘And God Created Woman’

“Why do they give us prizes?” He asked himself in 2018 in the interview in which he announced his goodbye. “Actors are well paid enough. It would be better to give the Oscar to those who have to do unfunny jobs», He replied loaded with irony, as when he explained his run-ins with fame. “He was very shy. Notoriety never interested me. It’s fun the first time they meet you, then it’s tiring.”

Perhaps the Trintignant who began studying law at the age of 18 did not want fame, but when at the age of 20 he discovered that he wanted to be an actor and director and moved to Paris, everything changed. Soon, at the age of 26, he already filmed together with Brigitte Bardot ‘And God Created Woman’ (1956), from Roger Vadimwhere he played the role of the shy husband of the French muse.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Vittorio Gassman in a still from 'The Getaway', in 1962
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Vittorio Gassman in a still from ‘The Getaway’, in 1962

Already launched, directors such as Eric Rohmer, René Clement or Philippe Coudroyer immersed him in the ‘Nouvelle Vague’. Then came commercial works that made him travel around the world: ‘A man and a woman’ (1966), by Claude Lelouch; ‘The Conformist’ (1970), by Bernardo Bertolucci, and ‘The Escape’ (1974), by Michel Soutter. Later he starred in ‘The Terrace’ (1980), ‘The Night of Varennes’ (1982) and ‘Between Love and Death’ (1981), all three by Ettore Scola; ‘Mata Hari’ (1964) and ‘Dangerous Relations’ (1959), both together with Jeanne Moureau… Hundreds of characters to whom he gave skin, voice and soul. For this reason, in 2018 he was asked if he would like to be reincarnated, Trintignant left an indelible answer: «Nerd [me reencarnaría] in an animal, rather an insect, I am very small».

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