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Tormented 'Betty Blue' director Jean-Jacques Beineix dies

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Tormented Betty Blue director Jean-Jacques Beineix dies

French film director Jean-Jacques Beineix died on Thursday at the age of 75, his family told Agence France Presse on Friday.

Beineix came to prominence with his first film, “Diva”, in 1980, and achieved wider international fame in 1986 with the movie “Betty Blue”, starring Jean-Hugues Anglade and Beatrice Dalle.

The filmmaker -- who tended to take criticism to heart -- never forgot the drubbing he took for his first film "Diva" in 1981, which only became a hit in France after it had been heaped with prizes abroad.

Decades later Beineix -- a pioneer of the French "cinema du look" that was later embraced by Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") -- was still smarting from being dismissed for his "ad-man's aesthetic" of favouring style over story.

"No one is a prophet in their own land," said Beineix, who trained as a doctor before making his name with a striking television public health warning about AIDS.

His second film "The Moon in the Gutter", starring Gerard Depardieu and Nastassja Kinski, also got a critical kicking, with Beineix saying he "never got over" being booed at its premiere at the Cannes film festival in 1983.AFP