The famous French film director Bertrand Tavernier died at the age of 79.
Among his most famous films are The Clockmaker (1974), Round Midnight (1986), and Life and Nothing But (1989).
Tavernier was born in Lyon under the Nazi occupation in 1941, and his father, Rene, a writer, was active in the French Resistance.
Tavernier headed the Lumiere Institute, named after the two brothers who invented cinema. His works spanned a number of genres, from suspense films to historical dramas.
Tavernier was also a screenwriter, actor and producer. His passion for cinema began as a teenager while staying in a health center where he was receiving treatment for tuberculosis.
He used to say that he was inspired by the golden age of Hollywood – especially western films. This was especially evident in his 2009 movie In the Electric Mist, which stars Tommy Lee Jones and John Goodman.
“Round Midnight”, about the life of a jazz artist and struggling pianist, Herbie Hancock won an Oscar.
However, Tavernier focused mainly on French affairs and promoted French culture.
In 2003, he criticized blockbuster special effects-driven films, saying, “If technology controls us, it turns us into stupid kids, and somehow, part of American cinema does.”
His first feature film, “The Clockmaker,” won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. It is a crime drama film with social and political dimensions, which starred Philippe Noire, who also worked in several of Tavernier’s subsequent films.
Tavernier won many awards in France and internationally.
Much of his early work was in the suspense category. But he also espoused left-wing political causes. He attacked the violations of French colonialism in Algeria, censorship and discrimination against immigrants.
Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival, described Tavernier as “a perfect author, instinctively selective and courageously selective”.