France mourns ‘national treasure’ Belmondo, New Wave cinema star
PARIS, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Jean-Paul Belmondo, a star of France’s New Wave cinema after his breakthrough performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s “A bout de souffle” (“Breathless“) in 1959, has died. He was 88.
The death of a leading figure in French cinema was felt across the country.
“It seems to me that all of France is sad,” Michel Godest, Belmondo’s friend and lawyer, told BFM TV, breaking down in tears. Godest told AFP that Belmondo passed away at home, adding: “He had been very tired for some time. He died peacefully.”
Belmondo was born on April 9, 1933, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, the son of the renowned sculptor Paul Belmondo and painter Sarah Rainaud-Richard. Despite his cultured background, he appeared more drawn to the world of sport than the arts and was a keen boxer in his youth.
Once he had discovered acting, it took three attempts before the Paris Conservatory agreed in 1952 to take him on as a student. Even then it was not a smooth passage, and Belmondo quit in a huff in 1956 after receiving a cool reception for one of his performances from a conservatory jury.
One of his teachers predicted at the time: “Mr. Belmondo will never succeed with his hooligan’s face.”
Belmondo first gained acclaim in “Sois belle et tais-toi” (“Look pretty and shut up“) in 1958 and in “A double tour” by Claude Chabrol in 1959, where his magnetism stole the film.
But his role as a small-time hood who romanced American ingenue Jean Seberg in Godard’s “Breathless” earned him international stardom.
Belmondo’s appeal, a mixture of cynicism and sensitivity, warmth and unselfconscious ease, created a new kind of romanticism that brought him roles in the films of France’s New Wave directors Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais and Louis Malle.
“If I have advice to give young actors, it is to never neglect technique: without technique, you limit invention. But it should never show. What counts is the result, not the sweat and the pain it cost,” he once said.
Reporting by GV De Clercq and Brian Love; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Angus MacSwan, Peter Graff and Alex Richardson
source (article; video and picture): Reuters; New Wave icon and French ‘national treasure’ Jean-Paul Belmondo dies at 88, euronews, Youtube
|to break down in tears||könnyekre fakadni/könnyeket ejteni|
|to pass away||elhunyni|
|renowned sculptor||híres/neves szobrász|
|to appear||(valamilyennek) tűnik|
|to be drawn to||vonzódni valamihez|
|to quit in a huff||sértődötten távozni|
|to receive a cool reception||hűvös fogadtatásban részesülni|
|to gain acclaim||hírnevet/elismerést szerezni|
|small-time hood||jelentéktelen bűnöző/
szegénynegyedből származó ember
|to earn stardom||hírnevet szerezni/sztárrá válni|
|unselfconscious ease||természetes/fesztelen könnyedség|