If there ever was a filmmaker who seemed like he’d go on forever, it was Claude Chabrol, who released his most recent film, “Bellamy,” last year at the age of 79. Alas, such is not the case: word has arrived from Paris that Chabrol died on Sunday, a few weeks after his 80th birthday.
The AP obituary is here, and my New York Times obituary is here. Le Monde has a tribute page here that includes testimonies from everyone Gerard Depardieu to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the right-wing leader who was Chabrol’s schoolmate in the 1940s.
I had the pleasure of meeting him several times, most recently in 2006 when the Torino Film Festival hosted a dauntingly complete 70-title retrospective of his film and television work. A very funny, very gracious man, with the perpetual look of a startled owl and an openness to everyone who approached him. A great director and a great critic, his loss leaves the world of the cinema appreciably smaller.