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12.09.2021
Jean-Paul Belmondo (1933-2021)

The French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo has passed away. He was 88 years old.

In 1959, Claude Chabrol gave him his first important role in the drama À double tour. A year later, Belmondo made his breakthrough with Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle, which made him a major figure of the Nouvelle Vague. In that period, he also made three films with Jean-Pierre Melville. With Cartouche (1962) and L’homme de Rio (1964), both directed by Philippe de Broca, he switched to more commercial films, especially comedies and action films. Besides de Broca, Belmondo’s talent was often called upon by Henri Verneuil, Jacques Deray, Jean Becker, Georges Lautner, Gérard Oury and Claude Lelouch. In between, Belmondo still occasionally worked with filmmakers from the Nouvelle Vague such as Godard (Pierrot le fou, 1965), Louis Malle (Le voleur, 1967), François Truffaut (La Sirène du Mississipi, 1969), Chabrol (Docteur Popaul, 1972) and Alain Resnais (Stavisky, 1974).

 

“À 10 ans, je me mettais dans la peau de Gary Cooper et Humphrey Bogart. N'est-ce pas cela, être acteur : jouer à... et y croire tellement que les autres y croient aussi ?” – Belmondo in Paris Match, novembre 2016

“When I was 10 years old, I used to put myself in the shoes of Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart. Isn't that what acting is all about: to play... and believe in it so much that others believe in it too?” – Belmondo in Paris Match, November 2016

 

“La réalité, de toute façon, n’est jamais venue d’elle même : elle se crée, comme mon père façonne ses bustes. La joie est une fiction à laquelle on finit toujours par croire. Le bonheur, une réalité qu’on a inventée.” – Belmondo dans son autobiographie Mille vies valent mieux qu’une

“Reality, in any case, has never come of itself: it is created, like my father shapes his busts. Joy is a fiction that we always end up believing in. Happiness is a reality that we have invented.” - Belmondo in his autobiography Mille vies valent mieux qu’une

 

À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

Léon Morin, prêtre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961)

Une femme est une femme (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961)

L’homme de Rio (Philippe de Broca, 1964)

Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)

La Sirène du Mississipi (François Truffaut, 1969)