Anne Wiazemsky, a Star in Godard Films and Author, Dies at 70

Anne Wiazemsky, a Star in Godard Films and Author, Dies at 70


Not yet 20, she met Mr. Godard, who was about 17 years her senior, while starring in his film “La Chinoise”; they married during its production. It was his second marriage.

In “La Chinoise” — presciently released in 1967, a year before the student protests — she played a student revolutionary in Paris struggling with Maoist philosophy.

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Anne Wiazemsky in Venice with Jean-Luc Godard in 1967, the year they married.

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Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Images

She played another revolutionary in Mr. Godard’s “Sympathy for the Devil” (1968). Vincent Canby of The Times wrote of her performance in that film, “She is an odd, mysterious, arbitrary Godard mouthpiece, answering with a laconic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ such questions as, ‘Is orgasm the only moment when you can cheat life?’ ”

Ms. Wiazemsky wrote two accounts of her marriage, “A Studious Year” (2012) and “One Year After” (2015), in novelistic style. “One Year After” was were adapted for the film, “Le Redoubtable,” directed by Michel Hazanavicius, who won the Academy Award for best director in 2011 for “The Artist” (which also won the best-picture Oscar).

Ms. Wiazemsky appeared at the premiere of “Le Redoubtable” at the Cannes Film Festival in May. In the movie she is played by Stacy Martin.

Ms. Wiazemsky was born on May 14, 1947, in Berlin to Yvan Wiazemsky, a diplomat and descendant of Russian royalty, and Claire Mauriac, the daughter of the novelist.

The family lived in Geneva, Caracas and other cities to which her father was posted. They returned to France just before his death in 1962.

Anne, who was educated at the École Sainte Marie de Passy in Paris, was only 17 when she was cast in “Au Hasard Balthazar” by Bresson, who liked his performers to be natural and non-interpretive.

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Ms. Wiazemsky in Robert Bresson’s “Au Hasard Balthazar” (1966). “The fragility suggested by her face, which has the calm radiance of a medieval saint, contrasts with the intensity of her gaze,” one critic wrote.

“I was already what he was looking for because I naturally have a very flat voice,” she told The Times in 2001. “He never had to direct my line readings as he had to, a great deal, with the others. And so I did very few takes compared with the other actors — 5 or 6 instead of 50 or 60.

“I was just emerging from adolescence,” she continued, “and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was very reassuring to be in the hands of someone who seemed to know everything. And when I decided to continue as an actress, it was largely because of the pleasure that experience gave me — of being an instrument in someone else’s hands, at the service of someone else’s desire.”

In another memoir, “Jeune Fille,” published six years after that interview, Ms. Wiazemsky wrote that Bresson had become obsessed with her and propositioned her repeatedly on the set. “For a month and a half, we lived under the same roof with adjoining bedrooms and he never let me out of his sight,” she wrote.

She and Mr. Godard divorced in 1979. “Our paths diverged,” she said. There was no immediate information on survivors.

Ms. Wiazemsky acted in films until the late 1980s. In one, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Teorema” (“Theorem”), from 1968, she appeared opposite Terence Stamp as a daughter of a wealthy family that is seduced by a strange visitor. She also directed several documentaries for television and wrote more than a dozen novels and memoirs.

Ms. Wiazemsky expressed few regrets, though she recalled that when she was first cast by Bresson in “Au Hasard Balthazar,” she replaced an actress who had already been selected for the role.

“She lost the film because of me,” she said, “and I still feel a pang of regret for that unknown girl.”



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