Although made only twenty years earlier, Jules et Jim seemed incredibly ancient to the thicket of dazed Eurotrash students who slid sideways from the cinema … every month or so. It was the earliest of Eighties and Munich had a select few foreign film cinemas.
Jeanne Moreau, on the other hand, blazed immutably fresh and we went to glory in French cinema as Germany hadn’t quite started … or restarted producing important filmic art [excepting Das Boot, obviously].
Part of the job description for any self-respecting screen legend must have a paragraph on how to carry yourself after curtains swoosh back together: should this actually exist, it would surely have been mapped to the contours of her graceful mind.
A prolific and intelligent filmography, Moreau worked with the crême of Twentieth century auteurs and was justifiably garlanded with accolades to match her powerful artistic authority winning twenty-two of the thirty awards for which she was nominated.
She dominated the screen with her quiet presence and pulsed with all that bubbled beneath.
The Sixties were really her decade but in Besson’s 1990 tour de force, Nikita she dazzled still. At a grand age, she died today. Dieu vous garde, Jeanne Moreau.
If this great loss to artistic life were not enough, it’s also been announced the deeply gifted Sam Shepard has died.
His profoundly stirring influence as writer, director and actor gilded the United States’ cultural presence on the world’s stage, his work speaking directly to the minds of his audience.
Much said of Madame Moreau could also be attributed to this sleek individual. How weird two brimming icons whose quintessential selves were private, graceful, thoughtful and considered should depart this life on the heavy day of Passchendäle’s centenary. Their beauty, their breath-taking beauty, endured in life as shall their reputations, no doubt, in death.
God speed, Sam Shepard.