Thursday, September 9, 2021

Foreign obituaries and more

There have been a couple of deaths over the past week that I probably should have noted earlier. The biggest of these would have to be Jean-Paul Belmondo, who died on Monday at the age of 88. Belmondo is best known for starring in the French New Wave classic Breathless as the criminal who falls in love with an American in Paris (Jean Seberg). I have to admit, however, that Breathless is not my favorite, not being a big fan of the French New Wave. I rather preferred That Man from Rio, which has him going to South America to find an ancient artifact and his kidnapped girlfriend (Françoise Dorleac). I think I saw Mississippi Mermaid ages ago when TCM did a spotlight on François Truffaut, but it looks like I never blogged about that one.

Another actor known for his roles in a very famous French movie is Nino Castelnuovo, who also died on Monday; he was 84. The Italian-born Castelnuovo had a smaller role in Rocco and His Brothers, but a much bigger role as the love interest opposite Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. If you can get past the fact that all of the dialogue is sung, it's actually quite a good story.

An obituary for someone who wasn't much of an actor is Mikis Theodorakis, who died last Thursday aged 96. Of course, Theodorakis wasn't an actor at all but a composer. It was he whose music had to be smuggled out of Greece for Costa-Gavras' Z, but he also wrote the music that Anthony Quinn shuffles along to in Zorba the Greek. That's some pretty iconic music there.

Speaking of Greeks, the death was announced recently of Michael Constantine, who had actually died at the end of August at the age of 94. Most of the people remembering him on Twitter mentioned his starring role in the early 1970s sitcom Room 222, which is one of those shows that doesn't seem to show up on any of the digital sub-channels so I've never actually seen it. He also played the patriarch of the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as well as doing a lot of stage work in original Broadway plays that went to better-known actors when the movies were made, including Compulsion and The Miracle Worker. He also had a supporting role in The Hustler, which is going to be on TCM on both Saturday and Monday in prime time.

Finally, a movie clip that's always relevant:

No comments: