Edouard Molinaro, French Film Director, Dies at eighty five

December 9th, 2013

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Edouard Molinaro in 2009. He received an Oscar nomination for directing the 1978 French film “La Cage aux Folles.”

Edouard Molinaro, who gained an Oscar nomination for directing the 1978 French movie “La Cage aux Folles,” which was remade in the United States as “The Birdcage” and as a Broadway musical, died on Saturday in Paris. He was 85.

His dying was confirmed in a statement by President Fran?ois Hollande of France.

Mr. Molinaro was a profitable screenwriter and director with credits for a lot of French films and television displays, but he is very best acknowledged for “Cage,” which at the time was the greatest-grossing foreign-language film ever in the United States.

The movie is about a homosexual couple, Renato and Albin, who operate a nightclub in the South of France that features drag shows. When Renato’s son receives engaged and brings his girlfriend’s conservative mother and father to meet them, Renato and Albin (a drag star) faux to be partner and wife.

Mr. Molinaro explained he wanted to make a comedy with homosexual figures because they experienced formerly been represented only in dramas. He hoped the audience would “laugh with, not at, homosexuals — the way a single would with other individuals,” he informed The New York Occasions in 1981.

President Hollande praised Mr. Molinaro for working with some of the best French actors and having a rich and different job.

“Our region lost a fantastic, desirable and authentic filmmaker,” Mr. Hollande explained in a statement.

Mr. Molinaro was born in Bordeaux, France, on May possibly 31, 1928. He started out making criminal offense films and went on to direct “Oscar” in 1967, with Louis de Fun?s, a popular French comic, and “My Uncle Benjamin” in 1969. Amongst the stars he worked with have been Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau and Catherine Deneuve.

The screenplay for “Cage” was adapted from a enjoy by Jean Poiret and created by Mr. Poiret, Mr. Molinaro and others.

In New York, the movie ran for 19 months at the 68th Avenue Playhouse on the Upper East Facet. The theater’s operator, Meyer Ackerman, said it drew a various audience: males and females, gay and straight, youthful and old.

“It’s mild and human, and compassionate in its spoofing,” Mr. Ackerman informed The New York Moments in 1980. “It offended no one particular.”

Some critics, however, argued that it relied way too heavily on stereotypes. It was “naughty in the way of comedies that faux to be advanced but actually provide to strengthen the most common conventions and most witless stereotypes,” Vincent Canby wrote in a review for The New York Instances.

A sequel, “ La Cage aux Folles II,” also directed by Mr. Molinaro, came out in 1980.

A Broadway musical version ran from 1983 to 1987 and gained numerous Tony Awards. There ended up revivals in 2004, and in 2010 starring Kelsey Grammer.

The American movie adaptation, “The Birdcage,” appeared in 1996, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

Information about Mr. Molinaro’s survivors was not immediately offered.

When Mr. Molinaro saw his film “Cage” for the initial time, he believed it was so undesirable that it may possibly be his very last job. He was surprised that he finished up getting acknowledged for comedy, he told The Moments.

“If my most industrial films have been comedies, it’s practically in spite of myself,” Mr. Molinaro mentioned. “I really do not chortle extremely simply.”

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