Renowned French film critic and historian Michel Ciment dies aged 85

Renowned French film critic and historian Michel Ciment dies aged 85
Renowned French film critic and historian Michel Ciment dies aged 85 Copyright LAURENT EMMANUEL / AFP
By David Mouriquand
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Leading French film critic, writer and radio producer Michel Ciment has died aged 85. He was a regular columnist on the acclaimed cultural programme "Le Masque et la Plume".


Michel Ciment, film critic and historian, has died aged 85. A journalist, writer and radio producer, Ciment was the editor of Positif, a monthly film magazine. He was also a contributor to France Culture and took part in the France Inter programme "Le Masque et la Plume".

He joined the editorial team of Positif after sending a text on Orson Welles in 1963, and later became its editor. 

In 1970, he joined the team behind the cultural programme "Le Masque et la Plume" on France Inter. He last appeared on the programme on 24 September 2023. Ciment was also producer of the programme "Projection privée" on France Culture, from 1990 to 2016.

"To those who oppose films d'auteur and popular films - cinema, real cinema, is that which abolishes the frontiers that separate us from others".
Michel Ciment

Ciment produced numerous monographs, including "Kazan par Kazan", "Le Dossier Rosi", "Kubrick", "John Boorman un visionnaire en son temps". He also wrote a book on American cinema, "Les Conquérants d'un nouveau monde", and a memoir, "Le Cinéma en partage".

“The entire Masque et la plume family has lost one of its closest friends," said Jérôme Garcin, the programme's producer. “He was perhaps the freest and most encyclopaedic mind that film criticism has ever produced.”

France Culture paid tribute to "an immense critic and historian who devoted his entire life to passing on, in words and in writing, his erudition and his passion for the seventh art".

Gilles Jacob, former president of the Cannes Film Festival, expressed on X his "respect" for the journalist, who "was not only a great critic and internationally renowned historian, but also a curious spirit about cinema and art who had fought hard all his life.” 

Jacob continued: "To Evelyne, Michel Ciment's wife, who has supported him so well and so strongly all these years, to his son Gilles and to his family, I want to say how much Michel, through his intelligence, his knowledge and his transmission, has brought to the younger generations of film lovers."

Michel Ciment - 1938-2023.

Additional sources • France Inter

Share this articleComments

You might also like