The French director Patrice Chereau, famed for his 1976 production of Wagner's Ring Cycle for the Bayreuth Festival, has died of lung cancer at 68. Chereau directed for the theater, film and opera and made rare on-screen appearances. (American moviegoers may remember him as the French general in "Last of the Mohicans.")
No time at the moment for a real tribute, but in a 2009 interview with Ignatiy Vishnavetsky at the Chicago International Film Festival, Chereau said:
A director should love all of his characters. Even if the character is a murderer or a monster, you have to love them. You have to accept them, and try to understand how they managed to do what they've done. Try to understand. You should ask yourself: "Why is it like that? Why does this relationship seem so impossible? Why does he fuck up everything?"
Via Alex Ross. Read his review of Chereau's final production, which can be viewed on the web and will reach the Met in 2016.