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Author Topic: Pierre Rissient, R.I.P.  (Read 112 times)
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« on: May 09, 2018, 07:00:14 PM »

Pierre Rissient, the French all-round film maven, whose championing of Clint's career goes all the way back to The Beguiled in 1971, has died. He was 81.


Nicole Prayer/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

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Mr. Rissient filled roles that no one could easily define but that all agreed were vital: scouting movies for Cannes, advising directors, making introductions, cultivating journalists. “A cinema guru,” “an ambassador of film” and “the Cannes-do man” are among the phrases reporters used to describe him.

When Todd McCarthy, a longtime film critic for Variety, made a documentary about him in 2007, he titled it simply “Man of Cinema.”

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But he made his real mark in promotion, working in that business during the 1960s and ’70s with Mr. Tavernier. They were not the kind who would plug just any movie.

“We were partners during nearly 10 years,” Mr. Tavernier said, “working as freelance press agents. We were only picking films we loved.”

Among the people who caught their eye was Mr. Eastwood, then known mostly from roles in westerns, though he was seeking to broaden his acting résumé with a Civil War drama, Don Siegel’s “The Beguiled,” and was also starting his directing career.

“In 1971, I went to Paris for only the first or second time in my life, with Don Siegel, for the release of ‘The Beguiled,’ ” Mr. Eastwood said by email. “We met these two maniacal publicists, Bertrand Tavernier and Pierre Rissient, who loved the picture and wanted to handle it. They were famous for pinning people up to the wall if they didn’t agree with them about something!”

The relationship Mr. Eastwood formed with Mr. Rissient would be a lasting one. Mr. Rissient’s promotional efforts gave Mr. Eastwood considerable cachet in France, which in turn elevated his career in the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/07/obituaries/pierre-rissient-81-behind-the-scenes-force-of-cinema-dies.html
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