Nellie Kaplan, whose films discovered female power, dies at 89

Nellie Kaplan, whose witty, satirical-based French films about female empowerment and vengeance gave her a distinct voice in the male-dominated era, died on 12 November in Geneva. She was 89.

The Société des Rallisteurs de Films, Association of French Filmmakers, Announced Her death on her website. French news agencies quoted a relative as saying that the reason was Kovid-19.

Ms. Kaplan, who was born in Argentina, arrived in Paris in the early 20s and became both a filmmaker and romantic partner. Abel GainesFrench director known for silent film “Napoleon” (1927). In 1969, she received acclaim with her debut feature “A Very Curious Girl”. (French title “La fiancé du pirate” or “The pirate’s fiancée.”)

It acted Bernadette Lafont, An actress who is already well known from the New Wave films Claude Chabrol And others, as Mary, a young servant who is hunted by men in his village until he is exposed to the hypocrisy of the townspeople, eventually charging for sexual favors and tape-recording encounters.

The film critic said, “Even after a long time,” A Very Curious Girl “remains fresh even after 50 years J. Hoberman wrote Then in The Times. “Mary’s victory is not just a victory for her gender and class, but a victory for the outsiders and the exclusion of all varieties, given the apparently xenophobic nature of the Smaug patriarchal system.”

Ms. Kaplan made only a few feature films after that, and none achieved the level of acclaim that was her first film. Film critic Joan DuPontWho secured A rare interview For Film Quarterly in 2018, Ms. Kaplan had done something in the French film world, raising safe funds for her films, battling censors and not embracing the film in general.

“He was never retrospective The Cinematheque,Ms. DuPont said by email referring to the venerable French cinema organization. “This stung, but Nellie was never going to fall short of Nellie: she spoke her mind, clung to her guns – she never won a popularity contest. A beauty and a brain, festive and generous, ambitious and Outspoken, he had no time for nuances and could not be loved. “

Ms. Kaplan was at times identified as part of the French New Wave, as she was known to actors for New Wave films, but Ms. DuPont said it was a wrong behavior.

“Nelly landed her own wave,” he said.

Nellie Kaplan was born in Buenos Aires on 11 April 1931 into a Jewish intellectual family. He studied economics at the University of Buenos Aires, but, as he said in an interview with Ms. DuPont, “I was considered a rebel, whatever that means.” Her father, she said, told her, “Change or leave”, and so she left, boarding a ship bound for Paris with $ 50 in her pocket.

She arrived there in January 1953, which no French knew. He used some of his money to buy radios. “I heard it nonstop,” she told Film magazine One more gaze In 2016. This helped him learn French.

She also wrote an introduction letter to Cinémathèque Français from Cinémética Argentina, Buenos Aires, where she had been a regular. She met him Henri LanglisCo-founder of the French organization. Mr. Gans, Mr. Kaplan is over 40 years of age, spotting her at the Cinematheque event and asking Mr. Langlis to introduce her.

She became a valued collaborator with Mr. Gaines as well as Lover and Mews, who worked in other projects as co-writer and assistant director of the 1960 Jans film “The Battle of Austerlitz”.

“I was an AD and did all the dirty work,” she told Ms. Dupont, “remembering her work on Ostralitz.” “But,” he said, “I’m grateful that he threw me in the water. Now, nothing scares me; there’s always a solution.”

Ms. Kaplan began directing her own documentary shorts. In 1966, when Pablo Picasso The subject of a major exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, he was allowed to film the works as they came there and were screened. The footage led to an almost hour-long documentary “Picasso Look”, which brought him some attention. He rented a theater to show Picasso himself, and he was clearly admirable. When “A Very Curious Girl” appeared a few years later, she praised what the film called “an insult raised for the state of the art”.

Ms. Kaplan’s later films include “Neha” (1976, also known as “A Young Emanuel” and based on an Emanuel Arsan novel), about a teenage girl who writes and publishes an erotic novel One seduces a very big man; And “Velvet Paws” (1986), a television film about a woman who takes revenge on a grown man. In 1984, he made a documentary about Mr. Gans, who died in 1981, and was his “Napoleon” film.

He also wrote novels and short stories, often in a surgical vein, as well as magazine articles and screenplays for television films. He and his longtime partner, Claude Makowski, He had producers in several films, home in France and Switzerland. He died in August at 84.

Ms. Kaplan’s films were sometimes called feminists, but she did not welcome the label for herself nor cared for what she said about the 1970s feminism and its activism through petitions.

“I don’t like that people are asking me to sign things,” she told Ms. DuPont. “I like to live on a branch in the forest. Feminism is not my interest. I am not a misanthrope, but in feminism men are hated, and I cannot accept it. “

She said, she was for women’s empowerment. In a 2016 interview with another gaze, Ms. Kaplan offered some direct advice for women.

“You shouldn’t listen to idiots who tell you that women were created to support men and things like that,” she said. “If you believe in yourself, no matter what you do, you’ll go to places, you’ll find places. And if someone tells you to leave, you chase them down with a pickaxe have been found. “

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