--First, George Segal, whose career has been deserving of another look for quite some time, and who had a great run roughly from 1965-75 with impressive, quirky and wide-ranging leading roles--best remembered, probably, for his "co-dependent buddy neo-noir" CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974, Robert Altman), with Elliot Gould. Geroge was 87, and a third by-pass operation was unfortunately not the charm for him.
We hope to have a chance to provide big-screen access to a few of George's many memorable films later in the year--those who subscribe to MCP should keep an eye out for new on that.
--Second, and more significantly for MCP and for fans of film history, French film, and French noir: the great director/writer/public intellectual Bertrand Tavernier has sadly lost his third battle with cancer, passing away earlier today at the age of 79. In addition to an exemplary body of work that began (appropriately enough for fans of French noir) with a Georges Simenon adaptation--L'HORLOGER DE SAINT-PAUL (1974) and his energizing French variation of Bologna's Il Cinema Ritrovato held in his home town of Lyons, there was his own effort to re-calibrate French film history in recent years--the two-part JOURNEY THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA (3-hour documentary and 9-hour TV follow-up) that have cemented his reputation as a film historian and cultural analyst.
It was among my greatest privileges to work with Bertrand in Los Angeles four years ago (FRENCH 3/LA) and I am saddened to think that our plans to go even further will not come to pass. Plans to honor him and to continue in the directions that we discussed during and subsequent to our efforts in LA are already underway. He was a great filmmaker, a great cultural historian, and, most importantly, a great humanitarian. Godspeed to you and thank you for everything, M. Tavernier...