France mourns giant of New Wave cinema

France will hold a national ceremony to pay tribute to famed actor Jean-Paul Belmondo at Paris’ Hotel National des Invalides tomorrow.

Belmondo, a star of France’s New Wave cinema after his breakthrough performance in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless in 1959, died this week aged 88.

Fans and stars paid tribute to Belmondo, saying he would live on forever in people’s minds and on screen.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the country had lost a “national treasure.”

A charismatic actor who often performed his own stunts, Belmondo switched in the 1960s to mainstream films and became one of France’s leading comedy and action heroes.

His decision to pursue a career in commercial cinema and to shun the art houses led to criticism that he had wasted his undisputed talent – something he always denied.

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