12 Jan 2010

French film director Eric Rohmer dies

4:17 pm on 12 January 2010

French film-maker Eric Rohmer, a key member of the New Wave of realist film making, has died at the age of 89.

Rohmer, born Maurice Scherer in 1920, was formerly a literature professor, and literary works heavily influenced his film-making. He made more than 20 feature films over 50 years.

He was the director of the critically acclaimed Tales of Four Seasons and one of the key figures of the post-war New Wave cinema movement, which also included Jean-Luc Goddard and and Francois Truffaut.

Rohmer's works include the series Six Moral Tales in the 1960s and 1970s - a modern retelling of 18th century fables, and My Night at Maud's, which won an Oscar nomination for best foreign film and brought Rohmer international fame.

Pauline at the Beach, a typical work from 1983, told the story of a 15-year-old girl's summer and her observation of adult relationships.

In 2001, Rohmer was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival for his career's work.

After the release of his last film, The Romance of Astrea and Celadon, at the Venice festival in 2007, he said he was considering retirement.

Former French culture minister Jack Lang described Rohmer as one of the masters of French cinema.

Relatives say Rohmer had been hospitalised a week ago, but did not give further details of his condition.