The French comedian Michel Subor, seen in “The Little Soldier”, “The Rebel” or even “The Intrusor”, died on Monday. He was 86 years old.
secret actor, “massive and waterproof” according to Claire Denis, who appeared at Truffaut and Godard, but also at Hitchcock, a striking face on the big and small screen, Michel Subor succumbed to a car accident on Monday January 17, 2022, according to The world. He was 86 years old.
Vadim, Truffaut, Godard…
The son of anti-Bolshevik Russian parents who emigrated to France, Michel Subor made his film debut alongside Louis De Funès (Mon pote le gitan, 1959) and opposite Brigitte Bardot in La Bride sur le cou by Roger Vadim ( 1961).
He then surfed the New Wave by becoming the narrator of Jules et Jim (1962) by François Truffaut, and by embodying The Little Soldier (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard. With André Cayatte (La Vie conjugale, 1964), he also tried a more traditional cinema. Trying his luck abroad, he turns under the direction of the English Clive Donner (What’s New, Pussycat?, 1965) and Alfred Hitchcock, in the spy thriller L’Etau (1969).
Between television and cinema
During the 1970s, Michel Subor devoted himself mainly to television, becoming famous in the series Mauregard (1970) and The Line of Demarcation (1973) and the TV movies Absolute Ear (1972) and Sultan for Sale (1974).
His cinematographic career finds a second wind thanks to Jean-Louis Bertucelli who directs him in turn in Doctor Françoise Gailland (1975), The Imprecator (1977) and Stress (1984). However, it was Gérard Blain who brought him out of oblivion by giving him a leading role in 1980, that of the homosexual promoter Beaufils, in Le Rebelle.
After a long journey through the desert, Michel Subor discreetly returned to auteur cinema at the end of the 1990s. Andrzej Zulawski called on him for the needs of La Fidélité (2000), while Philippe Garrel imagined as a tempting and evil demon in Sauvage innocence (2001).
“We called it bribery…”
Having directed him in Beau travail in 1999, Claire Denis remembers him as“a massive block, impermeable (…) And at the same time, it escaped us, it dreamed. It slipped into its own film as into a parallel universe. Between us, we called it “suboriser””, in the filmmaker’s own words.
In 2004, Claire Dennis collaborated with him again and made the septuagenarian actor The Intruder of his film. It is then necessary to wait five years before finding it in the cinema. In White Material (2009), he plays the owner of a coffee plantation in Africa, sharing the bill with Isabelle Huppert.
Finally in 2012, he returned to France for Last Winter by John Shank, a film that deals with the peasant world with Vincent Rottiers in the title role. His last roles were for the small screen, in season 4 of Braquo (2016) and season 1 of Aux Animaux la guerre (2018).