French screen icon and star of Jules et Jim، dies at 89

Camille Rivera
August 1, 2017

"I would like to have a really big house", she said in 1965, "where I could live with a man I loved, and where there'd be enough space for every man I'd ever loved in the past to have a room to himself, and we'd all live there together". She made two for Truffaut, "Jules et Jim" and the acrid Hitchcock homage "The Bride Wore Black", and one each for Michelangelo Antonioni ("La Notte"), Luis Bunuel ("Diary of a Chambermaid"), and Jean Renoir ("The Little Theater of Jean Renoir"). "I have most likely my identity".

She had the actor with her first husband Jean-Louis Richard, and she was also previously married to director William Friedkin. The most celebrated among them allowed her to exist in every frame with a ferocious and unflinching authenticity still seldom afforded to women in film.

Thanks to her striking looks and impulsive characters, some called her the French Bette Davis.

Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival, also honored the actress. She additionally coordinated L'adolescente in 1979, which won basic approval.

Away from her leadership roles, Jeanne embarked on a series of remarkable roles with Seven Days Seven Nights by Peter Brook in 1960. It was a brilliant evening.

Moreau quickly became a favorite of the filmmakers of the Nouvelle Vague (as the New Wave was known in France), working with great directors who knew uncannily well how to utilize her fearlessness, her emotive features, and the deep wellspring of haunted, haunting femininity that set her apart from her peers. From the moment we arrived at the house, which was festooned with giant Hockneys and other valuable modern art work, Tony was distant to the point of rudeness with his former intimate friend, paying far more attention to his eight or ten other guests, all of whom were young, male and very good looking. Sorry, Jeanne, but this is beyond us. She was in three films for Orson Welles ("The Trial", "Chimes at Midnight", and the wonderful hour-long "The Immortal Story", based on an Isak Dinesen story). "I am not disturbed from my aim by outside pressures such as family, passionate relationships, dealing with who am I-those complications when one is searching for one's self".

She made her first film appearance in 1950 and her final film appearance came 62 years later in 2012. From what she said, it wasn't easy for her. She has died aged 89. She was an artist on a mission, and from then to now that's all that mattered.

The French president's office announced her death in a statement Monday without providing a cause. But I always tried to keep up from afar. Perhaps she thought it every day, or at least every day that proved worthwhile to her.

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