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Revered French 'New Wave' director Alain Resnais dies at 91

© AFP / Alain Resnais at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-02

Alain Resnais, one of France’s most prominent and beloved film directors, has died in Paris following a brief illness at the age of 91.

Resnais died Saturday evening in Paris, his producer said.

Resnais was born June 3, 1922, in the Breton town of Vannes, in north-western France.

A victim of chronic asthma, he was exempted from service during World War II and took up cinema studies in Paris.

He would go on to become one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) of French film directors, along with François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard – although he never considered himself as part of the group.

His major works include "Hiroshima mon amour" (1959), based on a novel by Marguerite Duras, "L’Année dernière à Marienbad" (1961; "Last Year at Marienbad"), and "Muriel" (1963).

Throughout a career spanning seven decades, Resnais won numerous awards from international film festivals and academies.

Just two weeks ago, the Berlin Film Festival awarded him the Alfred Bauer Prize for work of particular innovation for his play-within-a-film "Life of Riley" (“Aimer, boire et chanter”), an ensemble piece about a group of friends who learn that one of their own only has a few months left to live

He is survived by his wife, actress Sabine Azéma.

Date created : 2014-02-25