Pierre Billard, French film critic, Died at 94

Pierre Billard was born on July 3, 1922, in Dieppe and died on November 10, 2016.

He was a French journalist, film critic, and historian of cinema.

He had followed the courses of resistant Valentin Feldman during the Occupation of France.

He had been taken by it and the teaching of Feldman marked him permanently.

Billard then went to study at the Sorbonne, but before specializing in cinema.

He was the president of the “Fédération française des ciné-clubs” from 1952, then in 1954 he founded the magazine Cinéma (revue) (fr), of which he was chief editor from Cinéma 54 to Cinéma 67.

Whilst he worked as a journalist and film critic for Les Nouvelles littéraires (fr), Candide and L’Express, he was one of the co-founders of the weekly Le Point where he directed the cultural pages until 1987.

During the early 1980s, Pierre was also editor-in-chief of the professional weekly magazine Le Film français.

He has taught the history of cinema at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris and published several books including Louis Malle, le rebelle solitaire.

Pierre Billard was the father of journalist and historian of cinema, Jean-Michel Frodon.

In 1995, Pierre Billard published the book L’Âge classique du cinéma français, in conjunction with that of his son Jean-Michel, L’Âge moderne du cinéma français.

His book which deals with French cinema from 1928, that was the advent of sound film, until 1959, can be considered as a “reference tool” during this period.

While there he worked as a “historian”, seeking to show with neutrality and without addressing the critical point of view, the influences of the economy, politics or culture on French cinema.

However, Les Inrockuptibles consider “exciting” the part that touches the first talking films, noting that the author is more reserved about what concerns the French cinema of the 1950s.

Billard particularly dealt with René Clair and Jean Renoir.

Pierre Billard passed away at 94 years old.