Author and screenwriter Colo Tavernier O’Hagan has passed away. France’s Institut Lumiére shared the news that the former wife and collaborator of Bertrand Tavernier died of cancer on June 13. A César Award winner for Tavernier’s 1984 drama Un Dimanche A La Campagne, she also worked with such filmmakers as Claude Chabrol and Pierre Granier-Deferre.
Among her credits are the screenplays for her then-husband’s Une Semaine De Vacances (1980), La Passion Béatrice (1987), Dirk Bogarde-starrer Daddy Nostalgia (1990) and L’Appat (1995) — the latter scooping Berlin’s top Golden Bear prize. She also provided the French translation for 1986’s multi award-winning jazz film ‘Round Midnight.
With Chabrol, she collaborated on 1988’s Une Affaire De Femmes and with Granier-Deferre on 1995’s Le Petit Garçon. Of Irish and Franco-Spanish origin, Tavernier O’Hagan also wrote for television and penned the 2013 book about words, Les Maux Des Mots.
Bertrand Tavernier said today, “Life had separated us, but I feel a void and a lack. Colo trained me, pushed me, made me grow. We raised (children) Nils and Tiffany together, who I think of this morning. How could I forget our professional complicity which started with Des Enfants Gatés and the poignant text that ends the film? The passionate writing work on Une Semaine De Vacances, Un Dimanche A La Campagne or Daddy Nostalgia? Colo knew how to expose the most acute feelings and the deepest emotions, the little things (‘those foolish things’ like that famous piece of jazz) that make the price of life. She also knew how to paint with harshness and lyricism the gray areas as we see in her scripts for La Passion Béatrice or Une Affaire De Femmes, the beautiful film by Claude Chabrol, or when we see her watching the terrible protagonists of L’Appat who she understood without excusing them. I feel like an orphan in front of all these films, an entire part of my life.”
Thierry Frémaux, who presides over the Institut Lumière with Bertrand Tavernier, said, “I remember a solar personality, full of character and joy; attentive to others and fiercely independent. I recall Bertrand saying that she supported the films she loved, which I was able to verify. As a screenwriter, Colo always chose strong stories, put very personal things in them and always got something very universal out of them.”