French Film Director Alain Resnais Dead at 91

Alain Resnais, who was known for his prominence in the French New Wave movement in the 60s, and for an extensive 50-film career, has died at 91. He was surrounded by his family in Paris.

Though Resnais was labeled as part of French New Wave, his films fell more within a style that was marked by a group of Left Bank filmmakers. These artists shared in common "a background in documentary, a left wing political orientation, and an interest in artistic experimentation." Resnais was among Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, and Marguerite Duras in the Left Bank Group, making films that "played with narrative 'flash-ins' that mingled past and present."

His most notable film was 1955's Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard), a documentary about Auschwitz. Resnais released his last film, Life of Riley, this year, and was still working on a new script before he died. NewWaveFilm.com has cataloged a thorough look at his best films, predictably topped by Hiroshima mon amour and Je t'aime, je t'aime.

Resnais was a longtime staple of both Cannes and the Berlin Film Festivals, and in 2009, Cannes awarded Resnais a Lifetime Achievement Award. Thierry Fremaux, festival head of Cannes, has been tweeting in response to Resnais' death, remarking, "He talked a lot about others' films. He would say, 'Making films is fine, but seeing films is ever better.'"

[Image via AP]