French director Alain Corneau dies

Last pic 'Love Crime' to screen at Toronto

BRUSSELS — French helmer Alain Corneau, whose latest pic “Crime d’amour” (Love Crime) will screen at next month’s Toronto Film Festival, has died of cancer in Paris at the age of 67.

“Love Crime,” which stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as feuding executives who become caught up in a crime, has its North American preem on Sept. 11 as part of Toronto’s Special Presentations section.

Born near Orleans in 1943, the young Corneau was a fan of American popular culture. Initially devoted to jazz, he eventually switched allegiance to cinema, studying film editing and directing at the IDHEC film school in Paris.

His first industry jobs were as assistant director, notably to Roger Corman on “Target: Harry” (1969) and Costa-Gavras on “L’Aveu” (1970).

Corneau’s debut features were stylish thrillers, including “Police Python 357” (1976) and “La Menace” (1977), both with Yves Montand.

In 1979 “Serie Noir,” adapted from the Jim Thompson novel “A Hell of a Woman,” was in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

The director’s subject matter became more diverse in the 1980s, and he achieved wide recognition with “Tous les matins du monde” (1991), starring Gerard Depardieu.

This period drama about a 17th century musician won the Cesars for film and direction in 1992, and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1993.

His later films included the Japan-set comedy “Stupeur et tremblements” (2003) and a remake of Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Deuxieme souffle” (2007).

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