After the “Big Splash”, restaurants in Paris refused a table for Michel Piccoli


The legendary French actor died of a stroke at the age of 94

May 17, 1973 The Cannes Film Festival faces one of the biggest scandals in its history. The presentation of the film “The Big Splash” by Marco Ferreri with Michel Piccoli in one of the main roles was met with insults by both critics and audiences.

“The greatest humiliation for France”, “Shame on the producers and the actors who have agreed to wallow in this filth that will always stick to their skin”. These are the most innocent definitions that flood the film crew. After the screening, the performers and the director were sent off with boos and rumbles.

And the cast is really stellar. On the screen next to Piccoli are three other greats – Marcello Mastroianni, Philippe Noiret and Hugo Toniazzi. The film tells the story of four friends who, over a weekend, turn their love of gastronomy into a culinary orgy, cram into fainting, and finally commit suicide by overeating. He is

cruel grotesque

of the consumer


in which ridicule is brought to the extremes of the physical nausea that the viewer experiences.

Piccoli remembers that after the “Big Splash” many restaurants in Paris refused to make a reservation and give him a table. “We have been accused of being vulgar, but in fact the opposite is true. “The Big Splash is a movie about love,” the actor said 40 years later.

On May 12, the great artist left this world, surrounded by his last third wife, Ludivin, and his two adopted children, Inor and Mission. At 94, the stroke ended his days. At the news of his death, many recalled the shock of the “Big Splash.” Because this film, later declared a masterpiece, perfectly illustrates Piccoli’s tendency to throw himself into creative challenges, to play characters with a passion for the excessive, to delve into the human psyche, from which sometimes come ugly and repulsive secrets.

“I enjoyed playing extravagant characters, indulging in the most embarrassing deviations,” admits the actor, whom

together with Alain Delon

the French are

decorated with the title

“Sacred monster”

of the seventh art. It is his talent as a chameleon, each time surprising and unexpected, that makes Michelle Piccoli one of the world’s most unusual celebrities from the recent past.

The son of a violinist of Italian descent and a French pianist, Michel Piccoli was born in Paris on Christmas Day, December 25, 1925, and grew up in an artistic environment. A silent child, the future actor prefers to listen and absorb. As a 9-year-old student, he played his first role in a student performance of Andersen’s The King’s New Clothes and found that when he was on stage, others listened to him. This is his first feeling of the great magic of the theater.

At the age of 18, Piccoli was aware of his vocation, but his plans to follow him were scorched by the outbreak of World War II. During this chaotic period, he cycled 300 km to Corrèze, where his family had friends with whom he found temporary shelter. Along the way, he meets Jewish fugitives and his youthful anger rises.

For the rest of his life, the great actor remained faithful to the leftist ideas and never ceased to oppose the far right and in particular the French National Front. Sympathizes with President Francois Mitterrand, supports Solidarity in Poland,

do not spare criticism

for the totalitarian

modes in

Eastern Europe

After the war, the Piccoli family returned to Paris, and Michelle made her film debut in 1945 in Christian Jacques’s The Spell. He began to take hard lessons in theatrical mastery. In fact, theater is the great love of his youth, because the true glory of the big screen reached him only at the age of 38. On the stage, Michel Piccoli met his first wife Eleanor Hurt, whom he married from 1954 to 1966. They have a daughter, Anne. Cordelia, whose relationship turns out to be very complicated for the actor.

The two have not spoken for years and do not maintain a relationship. None of them revealed the reason for this huge alienation, but in 2015, in a biographical confession, Piccoli admitted: “It is not easy to talk about it because we are quarreling and I do not know what is happening to her. All I know is that he has 3 children. ”

Father and daughter

they never succeed

to say goodbye

before his death and to forgive each other.

Cinema discovered Michel Piccoli’s great talent thanks to Louis Bunuel, for whom he became a fetish actor. Their first film together in 1956 was Death in This Garden. This is the beginning of a friendship and creative collaboration that lasts 20 years. Together they work on 6 more films, most of which remain forever in the annals of world classics – “The Diary of a Maid”, “Daily Beauty”, “The Milky Way”, “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”, “The Ghost of Freedom” and “This vague object of desire ”.

In these films, Piccoli, who is said to be able to leave all the personal traits of his character off the set, reveals the incredible range of his talent. He easily enters comedic and highly dramatic roles, plays equally convincingly ingenious manipulators and complexes, irresistible seducers and types who arouse disgust, people who are a volcano of emotions, and those whose coolness makes them shiver.

The new wave in French cinema is its true golden age. Then came the film, which is his world-famous rocket – “Contempt” by Jean-Luc Godard in 1963. In it Piccoli is in

an unforgettable tandem

with Brigitte Bardot

“He was talented, with a sense of humor, he liked my ass. We played contempt, but in fact we had great respect for each other. The last splashes of the New Wave took him away and left me alone on the deserted beach, “Bardot wrote on Twitter after the news of his death.

By the time he became a big star, Piccoli had become part of the Parisian bohemian of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. He is friends with Boris Vian and Jean-Paul Sartre. At the gala dinner at which they sat next to each other, in a similar company he

meets the singer

Juliet Greco –

this is Love

at first glance

They married in a small ceremony on December 12, 1966 and stayed together for 11 years, becoming one of the mythical couples in the French artistic and intellectual world. However, the woman who Piccoli left a widow is his third wife – screenwriter Ludwin Clerk. They adopted their two children, Inor and Misia, in Poland.

The Frenchman shot with many great directors and his filmography swelled to over 200 roles. He is also noticed by Alfred Hitchcock, who invites him to his film “Topaz”. Apart from Bunuel, Piccoli remained faithful to the Italian Marco Ferreri, with whom he made 7 films. Among them is the “Big Splash”.

The third director with whom the actor makes 5 no less memorable films is Claude Sote. Many Bulgarian viewers have remembered Michel Piccoli in

his unforgettable

incarnation in

“Things of life”,

where you partner

with Romi Schneider

There are many rumors about their great secret love, but they manage to keep it away from prying eyes. Many years after the death of the actress Piccoli confessed his feelings for her. However, neither of them reveals how long this relationship lasted. “Romi is the most anxious, the most fragile, the most insecure person I have ever met. Her life was a tragedy, “Piccoli said.

In 1980, the star of French cinema received the award for male role at the Cannes Film Festival for “Jump in the Dark” by Marco Belocchio. Two years later, he was awarded the Silver Bear in Berlin for Best Actor in Pierre Granier-Deferr’s “Strange Affair.”

But although he has been nominated for Cesar many times, Michel Piccoli never received this most French film award. His last notable appearance on screen was in 2011 in Nani Moretti’s “We Have a Pope.”

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