Divisive French moviemaker Maurice Pialat died on this day in 2003, at the age of 77. Over the course of his career, Pialat developed a unique style of storytelling that relied on disjointed narratives and elliptical timeframes, yet somehow also maintained a stark realism. After a failed career as an artist, Pialat moved on to moviemaking when he was in his late thirties, winning the Prix Jean Vigo for his first film, L’Enfance nu, in 1968. Aside from the creation of morally ambiguous and challenging films, Pialat’s most essential contribution to the film world was his discovery of the acclaimed French actress Sandrine Bonnaire, who made her debut in Pialat’s Ã€ Nos Amours.
Filmmaker Factoid: When Pialat’s Sous le soleil de Satan controversially won the Palme d’Or at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, the audience responded with a chorus of boos. As he accepted the award, the director famously turned to the audience, raised his fist and replied, “Since you don’t like me, I can tell you that I don’t like you either.”