Sir John Boorman pays tribute to Michel Ciment (1938-2023)

Michel Ciment (image: Creative Commons/Georges Seguin)
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French critic and editor Michel Ciment has died at the age of 85. His friend, Sir John Boorman, pays tribute.

Sir John Boorman has got in touch with Film Stories with a tribute he’s written for his friend, the critic and Positif magazine editor Michel Ciment, who sadly passed today at the age of 85.

I learned today about the death of my dear friend Michel Ciment.

Michel attended every festival and passionately defended the films he loved and attacked the ones he didn’t. Michel was one of the group that used to gather on a Sunday morning to decide on the content of the film magazine, Positif.

To say that Michel was passionate about the cinema was to do him an injustice. He lived and ate and dreamed cinema. I’m so sorry for his family but also for myself. I loved him and admired him, he was an original, his ideas were various and he always defended them.

It wasn’t enough that you liked the film he was promoting, you had to love it.

He was passionate about the cinema and the last member of the little group who decided categorically whether a film is good or bad. He had his editorial meeting about the contents of the magazine on Sunday mornings over coffee and croissants – passionate views were held and if you disagreed with Michel you had to be very sure of your facts! The discussions grew more and more passionate as the Sunday wore on and the shape of the magazine Positiv gradually solidified.

I have known him for years, I was a regular contributor to Positif, he was always bullying me into writing a new piece!

My world has shrunk. What am I going to do without his opinions that he so passionately held. I dared to disagree with him sometimes and he would flatten me with logic and fierce opinion.

Oh how much I will miss him.

Michael Ciment: 1938-2023.

Image: Georges Seguin (CC)

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