Tormented 'Betty Blue' director Jean-Jacques Beineix dies

Baku, January 15, AZERTAC

Oscar-nominated film director Jean-Jacques Beineix, who has died aged 75, survived a panning by French critics to make "Betty Blue", one of most iconic films of the 1980s.

Beineix died this week after a long illness at his home in Paris, his family confirmed to AFP.

The filmmaker - who tended to take criticism to heart - never forgot the drubbing he took for his first film "Diva" in 1981, which only became a hit in France after it had been heaped with prizes abroad.

Decades later Beineix - a pioneer of the French "cinema du look" that was later embraced by Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") - was still smarting from being dismissed for his "ad-man's aesthetic" of favouring style over story.

"No one is a prophet in their own land," said Beineix, who trained as a doctor before making his name with a striking television public health warning about AIDS.

His second film "The Moon in the Gutter", starring Gerard Depardieu and Nastassja Kinski, also got a critical kicking, with Beineix saying he "never got over" being booed at its premiere at the Cannes film festival in 1983.

"The hurt is there. The fact that I am finished today started there," he told French radio in 2020.


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