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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



French star Jeanne Moreau no more

French star Jeanne Moreau no more

Jeanne Moreau has died at her Paris home today, aged 89. She leaves behind a legacy of memorable films, including classic vehicles of Louis Malle and François Truffaut. Born to a French restaurateur father (Anatole Moreau) and English cabaret dancer mother (Katherine Buckley) on 23 January 1928 at Paris, she studied at Collège Edgar-Quinet and Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique. In 1948, she became an actress with Comédie Française and also made her screen debut, in Dernier Amour. Next, she joined the Théatre National Populaire in 1953.

After a decade of insignificant films, she garnered attention with two films of young Loius Malle: L’Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud (Lift to the Scaffold/Frantic, 1957) and Les Amants (The Lovers, 1958; considered obscene and subject of a case in the US). Two years later, she bagged the Best Actress prize at Cannes for Seven Days… Seven Nights, based on the novel Moderato Cantabile, by Marguerite Duras. It was directed by Peter Brook and paired her with Jean-Paul Belmondo. (Moreau played Duras in 2002’s Cet Amour-Là). International fame came with François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim, 1961, a new wave love triangle that had Moreau being the centre of attraction by two men.

Other master directors she worked with include Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte, 1961; opposite Marcello Mastroianni) and Orson Welles adaptation of Shakespeare’s (Chimes at Midnight/Falstaff, 1965). Wellles cast her again in The Immortal Story (1968). Other films of that period include The Yellow Rolls Royce, The Bride Wore Black (François Truffaut; 1968), Diary of a Chambermaid (directed by Luis Bunuel), Mata Hari (1964), The Great Catherine and The Last Tycoon (Elia Kazan). Moreau wrote, directed and acted in Lumière (1976), her first film effort in these capacities. Three years later, she made L'Adolescente, but refrained from coming in front of the camera.

Readers might recall Jeanne Moreau as Lysiane in German legendary director Reiner Werner Fassbinder’s Querelle (1982), Waris Hussain’s The Summer House, joint-directors Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders’ Beyond the Clouds and Indian director Ismail Merchant’s The Proprietor. Among her least screen appearances were as Françoise in Amos Gitai’s Désengagement (2007) and as Frida in Estonian film-maker Ilmar Raag’s Une Estonienne à Paris (2012). She also worked with Theo Angelopoulos, Manoel D’Olivera and Joseph Losey. In 1975, she was the President of the Cannes Film Festival. Among her decorations are the Legion d’honneur from her native France, and the European Cinema Prize, awarded in Berlin, 1997.

Moreau married Mata Hari director Jean-Louis Richard in 1949 and director William Friedkin (of The Exorcist fame) in 1977. Both marriages resulted in divorces. She has a son from her first marriage.

Here's the video link of wherein Jeanne Moreau sang a duet with Vanessa Paradis, Le Tourbillon de la vie, title song from Jules et Jim at the Cannes Festival, in 1995.

Here's the link to the original song, from the film.



About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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