French director and screenwriter Francis Girod, whose films used faces like Catherine Deneuve and Romy Schneider, died Nov. 19 while filming in Bordeaux. He was 62.
Girod, making a television movie in the southwestern wine capital, died in his hotel of a heart attack.
President Jacques Chirac praised Girod’s “singular regard in which acuity and irony were allied with sensitivity, emotion and a certain ferocity.”
Girod gave “some of the best roles in French cinema to the best actors,” Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said.
After briefly working as a broadcast journalist in the 1960s, Girod learned the movie trade at the side of director Jean-Pierre Mocky and Roger Vadim. He made his first movie, “Le Trio Infernal,” in 1974 with Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider.
Top French stars consistently showed up in his movies: Gerard Depardieu in “Rene la Canne,” 1975; Romy Schneider again in “La Banquiere” (The Banker), 1980; and Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Louis Trintignant in “Le Bon Plaisir” (The Pleasure) in 1984.
His latest movie, “Un Ami Parfait” (A Perfect Friend), about a journalist struck by amnesia, came out in April.