image courtesy Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience
Jean Michel Rollin Le Gentil, French film director fantastique and “gentle poet of sensual horror”, passed away yesterday (December 15, 2010) at 72, after a long illness.
Much beloved by his fans and horror connoisseurs, lauded for his bizarre genius and the unique, intensely personal vision he brought to his films, Rollin leaves a legacy brimming with uncanny beauty and perverse, morbid delights.
Though his works contained elements of horror cinema, Rollin insisted he did not make horror films; instead he prefers the label fantastique, which he described as “the opposite of the supernatural”. His story telling, marked by “surreal sensibilities” and a “narcotic narrative drive”, made for mysterious (and at times maddening) viewing; but the imagery, oh, the imagery. Languid and melancholy, romantic and doom-laden, the dreamy atmospheres Rollin crafted were truly like nothing else in cinema: “…hermetically sealed worlds of desolate chateaus, solitary vampires and violent seduction”.
According to Rollin’s son Serge, who spoke with Fangoria shortly after his father’s death, “Jean was surrounded by his friends, and was looking at the photos of his two granddaughters when he died.”
Jean Rollin (via)
Rollin was calmly uncompromising and self-assured to the very end. The filmmaker’s own words about his work and perceptions of criticism are as fitting a closing statement as any:
“Honestly, I don’t care [what people call me]. Some people say I’m a genius, others consider me the greatest moron who ever stepped behind a camera. I have heard so many things said about me and my films, but these are just opinions.
I am perfectly happy with what I do, because it has always been my choice.”