Mag Bodard.

Mag Bodard (1916–2019)

French film producer Mag Bodard, who worked with directors Jacques Demy, Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, and Alain Resnais, among others, died on February 26. She was 103 years old.

Bodard began her career in journalism, working as a reporter for Elle in Southeast Asia in the 1950s. Upon her return to France, she began writing for the paper France Soir. Together with the owner of the publication, Pierre Lazareff, she also worked on the news magazine Cinq colonnes à la une until she was pushed out of the project, prompting her to go into the field of film production.

In 1961 she set up her production company, Parc Films (eventually to become Ciné Mag Bodard), and Norbert Carbonnaux’s The Dance (1962) became her first production credit. Her second was Demy’s 1964 musical, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which was a surprise hit and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964. They went on to work together on The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) and Donkey Skin (1970). On her collaboration with Demy, Bodard said: “With Jacques, we were two children who played hopscotch.” 

Varda—with whom Bodard worked on Happiness (1964) and The Creatures (1966)—recalled of Bodard’s work on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in a 2004 tribute on Cinematheque: “With enthusiasm, trust, and friendship, I would even say complicity with Jacques, she produced . . . three brilliant and rare works in the wave of New Wave movies. Three films with Catherine Deneuve. Three films with the music of Michel Legrand. All the films she produced, unequaled by their success, are proof of her desire for quality.”