Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, the critically acclaimed artist whose works such as C.R.A.Z.Y. and Dallas Buyers Club, has died at the age of 58.
Starting out by making short films as a student, Vallée rose to prominence by not just making beautiful features but also directing popular shows such as Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects.
Vallée passed away on December 26 while he was residing in his cabin near Quebec City. Aged only 58 at the time of his early demise, the reasons for the filmmaker’s death haven’t been reported to the press yet. Vallée’s representatives have only come forward to reveal that he suddenly passed away in his cabin over the weekend.
His producing partner, Nathan Ross, confirmed in a statement: “Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently. He was a true artist and a generous, loving guy. Everyone who worked with him couldn’t help but see the talent and vision he possessed. He was a friend, creative partner and an older brother to me. The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”
In an interview from 2019, Vallée claimed that his cinema wasn’t inherently political in nature even though his works have been classified as such. Insisting that he has used his cinema to champion “underdogs”, Vallée maintained that there was a distinction between the domains of the social and the political and that his art belonged to the former.
After the reports of his death, many fans and collaborators have come out with their own tributes to honour the passing of a considerably talented director.
HBO also released a statement pointing out that Vallée’s absence is a significant loss to the film industry as well as to the legacy of HBO, with this shocking and unexpected news hurting many fans as well as his own colleagues. “Jean-Marc Vallée was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth,” said a statement released by HBO.
“He was also a hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed. We are shocked at the news of his sudden death, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his sons, Alex and Émile, his extended family, and his longtime producing partner, Nathan Ross.”
The director is survived by his two sons – Alex Vallée and Emile Vallée as well as his siblings Marie-Josée Vallée, Stéphane Tousignant and Gérald Vallée.