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Jean Rollin, 1938 - 2010

"Fangoria has learned of the passing of beloved French erotic-horror filmmaker Jean Rollin. The director died last night, after a long illness. He was 72. Fans of European genre films, especially those coming out of the free-thinking 1970s, are no doubt aware of the work of Rollin — a talented, gentle poet of sensual horror, a man who made personal, lush and haunting works that were often ghettoized alongside the efforts of some of his more crass contemporaries and yet almost always offered something more, something richer and more melancholy."

"Rollin's movies frequently tell conventional horror stories," wrote James Newman for Images in 2000. "The Shiver of the Vampires, for example, gives us one of the most familiar of all horror plots: a newlywed couple spends an evening at a castle and discovers it is crawling with vampires. But Rollin tells his stories in the most unconventional of ways. In Shiver, the vampires become intellectual hippies who spout bizarre theories about the history of religion in Europe. His movies contain elements of horror cinema, but Rollin insists he does not make horror films. Not surprisingly, because his movies tend to defy the expectations of audiences, reactions to his movies can be volatile. His first full-length film, The Rape of the Vampire, was greeted with violent protests in Paris."

"His pictures are an odd, uncommercial blend of pornography and Gothic horror, entrancing and addictive to the select few," wrote David Kalat, introducing a special issue of Kinoeye devoted to Rollin.

See also the official site, the Wikipedia entry and the first part of a French documentary on Rollin.

Update, 12/17: The Jean Rollin Experience has added a roll call of Jean Rollin Memorial Links on the right side of its pages.

Update, 1/3:



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Sorry to hear this. Although I suspect Rollin himself disliked the genre corner he had been painted into (and even more so with the sex films he made under the pseudonym Michel Gentil), his example remains a rather inspiring one: the principle of imagination, and a real cinematic eye, trumping a lack of resources.
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Right now, there’s a lot of rumor cooking going around in the web. Some say, Jean Rollin, the director, is dead – others say, not the director, but the curator of the same name is dead. It’s really confusing, a statement of more official sides – not just some blogs and message boards – would be appreciated.
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even the official website says: “Word has been spreading all day today about the passing of Jean Rollin. At this moment, I have not received a confirmation of Rollin’s status so cannot verify it as fact. Once I hear word from his family I will post it here and until I do hear it from his family, I will consider it nothing but “rumor”. Although Jean’s health has been his greatest adversary for some time, I hope for the best. Site design and updates are in the works and I hope to make a large community here of fans and friends over time, Rollin’s work has always deserved more attention and respect, which is what this site initially set out to do… and will do… more to come."
Many, many thanks for the note of caution, Thomas. Sorry I didn’t see them earlier and respond. It seems that the French press is beginning to confirm the news this evening. Here, for example, is Libération: http://www.liberation.fr/culture/01012308541-en-bref And another, simply because this one has clips: http://www.leparisien.fr/cinema/actualite-cinema/disparition-de-jean-rollin-legende-du-film-de-serie-b-16-12-2010-1193913.php
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thanks, david, for the links. in the meantime, even the official site linked above confirmed the sad news via a statement of relatives.
Thank you for linking to my site Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience. I am continuing to add more and more memorial links to that right hand column and I expect to add a lot more as this terrible news spreads even more.

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