Remembering Stéphane Audran, Barbara Stone, and More

The Daily — Mar 27, 2018

Actress Stéphane Audran has passed away at the age of eighty-five, reports Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione. “Audran, whose real name was Colette Dacheville, is known for her long collaboration with Claude Chabrol to whom she was married from 1964–1980. She also starred in [Luis] Buñuel’s 1972 comedy The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie which went on to win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Audran took the BAFTA Best Actress prize for that film as well. In 1987, she starred in Gabriel Axel’s Danish drama Babette’s Feast [image above] which also won the Foreign Language Oscar. The titular role garnered her a BAFTA nomination as Best Actress and a win from the London Critics Film Circle Awards.”

Besides the twenty-five films she made with Chabrol, Audran will also be remembered for her work in Eric Rohmer’s The Sign of Leo (1962), Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One (1980), Bertrand Tavernier’s Coup de Torchon (1981), and Anne Fontaine’s The Girl from Monaco (2008) as well as for her performances in television series such as the landmark British production of Brideshead Revisited (1981). And when Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind is released later this year, we’ll see her once again alongside Chabrol.

Updates, 3/28: “In her husband’s films,” writes Ronald Bergan for the Guardian, Audran “perfected her portrayal of the bourgeois Frenchwoman—graceful, aloof, intelligent, reserved and yet passionate. She dominated Chabrol’s films for more than two decades from 1960, often playing adulterous and/or betrayed wives called Hélène. The ‘Hélène cycle’—variations on the theme of marital infidelity leading to murder—in which Audran played a wife caught between two characters, usually called Charles and Paul, began with La Femme Infidèle (The Unfaithful Wife, 1969). Chabrol seemed to draw mischievous pleasure from directing his wife in such roles. Although Audran made dozens of films for other directors, she never shone as brightly as she did in Chabrol’s movies.”

Neil Genzlinger for the New York Times: “Before her marriage to Mr. Chabrol, who died in 2010, Ms. Audran was married to Jean-Louis Trintignant; after their divorce she acted with him in several films, including Les Biches (The Does), with her new husband, Mr. Chabrol, directing. It was one of Ms. Audran’s most challenging roles. She played a bisexual woman named Frédérique. ‘I like challenges,’ she told the Los Angeles Times in 1988, ‘and I like jumping into the unknown.’”

Update, 3/31: “While Audran remains the image of Parisian sophistication in Chabrol’s bourgeois dramas of the 1960s and 70s, Babette’s Feast proved a fitting, if belated, tribute to her talent, beauty and elegance,” writes Ginette Vincendeau for Sight & Sound.

Update, 4/3: “Audran’s looks often seemed to typecast her as a French bourgeoise, as in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), where Luis Buñuel took her unflappable dinner-party manners and pushed them as far as they would go,” writes Farran Smith Nehme in the Village Voice. “But her roles for Chabrol, while superficially similar to one another, have tremendous variation in personality and values.”

“U.S. industry veteran Barbara Stone, producer, distributor and founder of London’s iconic Gate Cinema, has died aged eighty-three in the UK capital,” reports Andreas Wiseman for Deadline. “Stone and her late husband David worked in the film business most of their lives, both in the U.S. and in the UK, playing an important role in distributing independent and avant-garde movies during the 1970s and 80s.” Not only did they introduce UK audiences to the likes of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Jonas Mekas, but the Gate would also “show classic films that others passed on, including La Cage aux Folles (1978), and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979). Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane (1976), with Latin dialogue and subtitles, reportedly saw queues for weeks. . . . Meanwhile, their west-London home became well known to the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Wallace Shawn, Robert Kramer, Agnès Varda, and Anouk Aimée.”

Andy Lewis, who, along with his brother, Dave wrote the screenplay for Alan J. Pakula’s Klute (1971) starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, has passed away at the age of ninety-three. Movie City News points us to the story in the Keene Sentinel as well as to a conversation with Lewis recorded in 2013 for The Next Reel.

“Louise Latham, the actress who made her big-screen debut by portraying the manipulative mother of Tippi Hedren's character in Alfred Hitchcock's suspense thriller Marnie, has died,” writes the Hollywood Reporter’s Mike Barnes. “She went on to appear in other movies like Firecreek (1968) with James Stewart and Henry Fonda; White Lightning (1973) with Burt Reynolds; The Sugarland Express (1974) in Steven Spielberg's first feature; Mass Appeal (1984) with Jack Lemmon; Paradise (1991) with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson; and Love Field (1992) with Michelle Pfeiffer.” Latham was ninety-five.

Michael Gershman, a cinematographer who would not only shoot but also direct several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Crossing Jordan, was seventy-three. Erin Nyren for Variety: “Gershman studied under cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a camera assistant on films like The Deer Hunter, Heaven’s Gate, The River, The Blow Out, and The Rose during the ’70s and ’80s.”

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