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French filmmaker Alain Resnais dies at 91

French filmmaker Alain Resnais has died in hospital in Paris aged 91. Only last month, Resnais, a star of the New Wave movement, won a prize for innovation at the Berlin Film Festival for his "Life of Riley."

Resnais died late on Saturday surrounded by his family, according to his producer, Jean-Louis Livi.

Livi said Resnais, who made almost 50 films in his career, had been editing drafts of his next project from his hospital bed until just before his death.

"He was a man of the highest quality, a genius," Livi told France Info radio on Sunday.

France's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, paid tribute to "a very great talent, universally known."

Resnais achieved widespread renown with the film "Hiroshima Mon Amour," a screenplay by author Marguerite Duras, which was screened out of competition in 1959. "Last Year at Marienbad" (1961) and "Muriel" (1963) followed.

All three films came to be considered as classics of the French New Wave, then at its peak.

He continued making films as he reached 90, and last month received an innovation award at the #link:http://www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.html:Berlin Film Festival# for "Life of Riley" ("Aimer, boire et chanter).

The Cannes festival awarded him a lifetime achievement award in 2009.

Resnais was born June 3, 1922 in the western city of Vannes. He married twice, and is survived by his second wife, French actress and director Sabine Azema.

tj/pfd (AFP, AP)

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