French filmmaker Alain Resnais dead at 91

Alain Resnais

Iconic, formally inventive French filmmaker Alain Resnais, responsible for such classics as Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad, and Night and Fog, has died. He was 91 years old.

At the time of his passing, Resnais was reportedly editing drafts of a potential new project from his hospital bed.

His career spanned six decades, beginning with short documentaries before bursting wide open with dock Night and Fog, a 1955 exploration of Nazi concentration camps.

His first narrative feature film was 1959’s Hiroshima, Mon Amour, which starred recent octogenarian Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva.

Its screening at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, alongside The 400 Blows, signified the start of the French New Wave, though Resnais would go on to distance himself from that seminal movement (citing closer affiliation with the ‘Left Bank’ artists instead).

Across his storied career, he received two César Awards for Best Director, a Golden Lion and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival, at the Grand Prix at Cannes.

In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Resnais’ final film, Life of Riley, played the Berlin Film Festival in February, where it collected the Alfred Bauer Prize.

He is survived by his wife, Sabine.

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