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French filmmaker Jacques Rivette dies aged 87

French director Jacques Rivette, a pioneer of strikingly unconventional New Wave film who brought renown to female actors such as Emmanuelle Beart, has died aged 87.

Rivette’s films – like many of the New Wave era – routinely appeared at elite film festivals though did not always enjoy commercial success.

French president Francois Hollande, in a statement announcing Rivette’s death, hailed him for creating films with major female roles.

Among them were his first film, La Religieuse (The Nun), the award-winning La Belle Noiseuse (The Beautiful Troublemaker) in 1991, and a 1996 version of the Joan of Arc story called Jeanne la Pucelle.

Serge Toubiana, head of the Cinematheque museum in Paris, described Rivette’s “sense of conspiracy, sense of secrecy” and the “magnificent place” he provided to women characters.

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Lucien writes on film, television and politics at LuwdMedia.com and co-hosts the podcasts Above All Else and The 99%.

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