Tavernier, a French producer who attained international popularity of his humanistic, character-driven vogue and surprising skillfulness, more over as for his tenacious efforts to market and preserve medium history, died March 25 at his house named Sainte-Maxime.
He was 79 years old. Mr. Tavernier was the president of the Institut Lumière, a French film organization that declared his death however didn’t provide a precise cause. “His films can stay as masterpieces of French cinema,” aforementioned former French interior minister Gérard Collomb.
Mentored by administrators Claude Sautet and Jean-Pierre writer, Mr. Tavernier worked for quite a decade as a movie critic, assistant director and publisher before creating his 1st feature, “The clock maker of Saint-Paul” (1974), that he tailored from a Georges Simenon novel and shot with a hand-held camera in his town of metropolis.
A contemplative drama of a father who learns that his teen son has killed a foreman, the flick attained a contender prize at the Berlin International festival and established adult male.
Tavernier as a ambassador of a brand new generation of French filmmakers, succeeding the new wave administrators of the late 50’s and ’60s. “His work is an abundance of invention and generosity, and in a very means the other of the filmmaker theory that he once supported, since Tavernier never forces himself or a method upon U.S.A.,” film critic Roger Ebert wrote in 2003.
If there’s a standard component in his work, it’s his instant sympathy for his fellow humans, his enthusiasm for his or her triumphs, his sharing of their disappointments. To examine the work of some directors is to feel nearer to them. To examine Tavernier’s work is to feel nearer to life.
Mr. Tavernier directed quite large integer features and documentaries, as well as “Death Watch” (1980), a science-fiction fable major Romy Schneider and, with cameras embedded behind his eyes, William Harvey Keitel “Coup de Torchon” (1981), a comedy film that received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film and “A Sunday within the Country” (1984), a poignant family portrait regarding an old painter. Mr. Tavernier won the Golden Lion Lifetime award of achievement at the Venezia festival in 2015. The winner of 5 César Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscars, Mr. Tavernier worked with actors as well as Isabelle Huppert, Julie Delpy and Dirk Bogarde, whose last screen role came in Tavernier’s bittersweet “Daddy Nostalgia” (1990), a few dying man visited by his alienated female offspring, played by Jane Birkin.
Mr. Tavernier additionally emerged as a number one evangelist for international cinema, organizing the Institut Lumière’s annual festival in metropolis, co-writing a 200 page history of American film and publication of a book of interviews with administrators like Robert Altman, Roger Corman and John Ford.
He was maybe best illustrious within the U. S. for “Round Midnight” (1986), regarding an American instrumentalist valley Turner, vie by musician dextral Gordon who travels to Paris to play at a club named the tone and is taken in by a French fan. Based on pianist Bud Powell, Turner struggles with alcoholism and drug usage, while he remains consumed by a long relationship with jazz. He says “My love is music. And it’s twenty four hours every day.”
Mr. Tavernier co-wrote the script, as he did for many of his films, and insisted on casting Gordon, who had spent years in Paris and struggled with addiction himself. The actor wrote several of his own lines and received an award nomination for best actor; player Herbie John Hancock, who performed on-screen with Gordon and unique real-life musicians, won the Oscar for best original score.
“In most films, characters take the journey from A to Z,” Mr. Tavernier told the New York Times in 1985, while shooting “Round Midnight.” “In mine, they go from A to B.” His protagonists were often timid and hesitant, gradually moving toward moments of realization or acceptance while looking back on their lives.
Mr. Tavernier let them take their time. Many of his films were slow and meditative; in “Round Midnight,” musical interludes sometimes seemed to say more than the dialogue itself. “When I make movies,” he explained in the Times interview, “I like to explore, to dream.” René Maurice Bertrand Tavernier was born in Lyon on April 25, 1941, nearly a year after the Nazi invasion during World War II. His mother was a homemaker, and his father wrote poetry and founded the literary journal Confluences, which “became the vehicle for dozens of writers actively engaged in the resistance movement,” according to the Virginia Quarterly Review.
After being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Mr. Tavernier spent part of his childhood at a sanitarium. He began going to the movies daily while at high school in Paris, accompanied by another student, Volker Schlöndorff, who later directed “The Tin Drum.” Mr. Tavernier went on to found a film club while studying at the Sorbonne, then dropped out of school after interviewing Melville, who offered him the chance to work as an assistant director.
He later said he was terrible at the job, perpetually frightened by his boss, who “behaved like a tyrant on the set.” But he found his footing in the industry after Melville suggested he become a press agent, a job that enabled him to work with French, Italian and American filmmakers, including Howard Hawks and Raoul Walsh. Mr. Tavernier’s early films included “Let Joy Reign Supreme” (1975), a political satire set in 1720s France, and “A Week’s Holiday” (1980), starring Nathalie Baye as a brooding, dissatisfied schoolteacher who takes a brief vacation to reexamine her life.
His later works included “Life and Nothing But” (1989), about a group of French soldiers sifting through the soil around Verdun to identify victims of World War I; “L.627” (1992), about a police narcotics squad in Paris; and “Safe Conduct” (2002), which examined the French film scene during the Nazi occupation.
Mr. Tavernier’s first marriage, to screenwriter and collaborator Claudine “Colo” O’Hagan, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, Sarah Tavernier; two children from his first marriage, filmmaker Nils Tavernier and writer Tiffany Tavernier; and a number of grandchildren.
In 2016, Mr. Tavernier released “My Journey Through French Cinema,” a three-hour meditation on film, which explored some of the movies that had offered him direction when he was a boy recovering from tuberculosis.
“I wanted to say thank you to all those filmmakers, writers, composers for the way that they enlightened my life,” he told NPR. “They gave me dreams, gave me passion. And I think I survived — I survived because of the cinema. It gave me hope. The cinema gave me a reason to live.”
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