You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Richard Dembo


French writer-director Richard Dembo, whose 1984 chess drama “La Diagonale du fou” (Dangerous Moves) won the foreign language Oscar, a Cesar for best first film and Gaul’s coveted Prix Louis Delluc, died suddenly on November 11 of unspecified causes. He was 56.

Dembo, who also directed theater and opera, was a co-founder (with Pierre-Henri Deleau) of the Directors Fortnight sidebar at Cannes and of the French helmers’ orgs Societe des realisateurs de films and ARP.

Born in Paris, Dembo worked as an assistant to Jean Schmidt, George Stevens and Andre Techine prior to embarking on his own helming career.

An observant Jew, Dembo set out to make movies in harmony with the Torah. That meant no nudity and no overt sexuality, including kissing. Those standards weren’t an obstacle in “Dangerous Moves,” with its Cold War showdown between a Soviet chess champ, played by Michel Piccoli, and his dissident opponent. It was to have been the first film in a trio called “Man Without God.” But it wasn’t until 1993 that Dembo made his second feature, the WWI aviator drama “L’Instinct de l’ange.”

Dembo recently completed two new films slated for release next year, “La Carpe dans la baignoire” starring Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Patrick Braoude and Tsilla Chelton, and “La Maison de Nina” with Agnes Jaoui, Charles Berling and Gaspard Ulliel, a tale of children deported during WWII and their lives after the Liberation.

More Scene

  • Dylan O'Brien, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett,

    Travis Knight on Getting the Call to Direct ‘Bumblebee’: ‘Did You Guys Get The Right Number?’

    “Bumblebee” director Travis Knight admits he couldn’t believe it when Paramount Studios and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura called him two years ago, asking him to helm the upcoming “Transformers” movie. “My initial question was, ‘Did you guys get the right number?'” Knight joked at Sunday’s premiere of “Bumblebee” at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. “You’ve seen [...]

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

  • Lena WaitheVariety's Power of Women, Arrivals,

    Who Lena Waithe Thinks Should Replace Kevin Hart as Oscar Host

    Lena Waithe thinks Kevin Hart could have handled his Oscar debacle in a much better way. “I kind of wish that he would have taken a moment to let it be a teachable moment and to say, ‘Hey, what I said wasn’t right and I want to make that right,’ not just to keep the [...]

  • Christie Brinkley32nd Annual Footwear News Achievement

    Christie Brinkley at 64: 'Women My Age Cannot Allow the Numbers to Define Them'

    Christie Brinkley may be turning 65 next year, but don’t you dare try to tell her what she should — or shouldn’t — wear. “I think women my age cannot allow the numbers to define them. We need to constantly redefine the number,” Brinkley told Variety on Tuesday at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content