Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jean Rollin
(1938 – 2010)

Taking an unavoidable break from the #25 count-down, it is my sad duty to pass on the news that Jean Rollin died yesterday, at the age of 72.

Hopefully Rollin will need no introduction for regular readers of this blog, but either way, I’m too taken aback right now to really pull together the kind of grand tribute he deserves.

His films are certainly not for everyone, and that’s fine. But on behalf of those who have been touched by his work, let’s just say: thank you M. Rollin, for the dreams, the stories, the strangeness, the beauty. To myself and many others, you were one of the greats.

I had plans for tonight, but instead I think I’ll stay in, and return to where my Rollinomania began about five or six years ago: with a glass of wine and an old Redemption VHS of “Requiem for a Vampire”, complete with ridiculous fetish-porn cover photo. It was an astonishing and beautiful thing that happened when I pressed play.

Here is a quote from Tohill & Tombs’ “Immoral Tales: Sex & Horror Cinema in Europe 1956-1984”, p. 173;

“As a kid of seventeen Rollin came to England. One day he found himself, as you might expect, by the sea – in Bexhill of all places. He met a girl there and he kissed her goodbye on the beach. ‘And I have never forgotten her,’ he says now. Of course he hasn’t; she’s there in almost all his films. At their best they are expressions of just that sort of moment, when our lives seem to belong to us. When we feel the enormities of all possibilities that stretch out before us.”

So long Jean, and thanks for the memories.

Most of the images in this post – from “Le Viol Du Vampire” (1968), “La Vampire Nue” (1969), “Le Frisson des Vampires” (1970), “Lips of Blood” (1976) and “Lost in New York” (1989) - are sourced from Jeremy Richey’s Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience. You can read Jeremy’s tribute to Rollin here.


Toast said...

Requiem for a vampire on VHS was my introduction to Rollin and I still love that film and many more. He will be sadly missed.

Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway] said...

I've seen all of Rollin's films available in the UK, most of them as you note on the Redemption Label. I think without a doubt his masterpiece was THE GRAPES OF DEATH - for that film alone he deserves a prominent place in horror history.