WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Filmmaker and writer Andrzej Zulawski, who was named best director last year at a film festival in Switzerland for his latest film "Cosmos," died Wednesday at 75 after a long illness, Polish film authorities and his family said.
The Polish Institute of Film Art reported his death on its website. His son, filmmaker Xawery Zulawski, wrote Tuesday on Facebook that his father was in the hospital "in the terminal phase of cancer."
The institute called Zulawski, the former partner of actress Sophie Marceau, an "outstanding film director, scriptwriter and author" who had won many awards in Poland and abroad. He made 13 movies and two films for Polish TV.
"He was a visionary filmmaker, one with imagination, and one who used bold methods and effects," said film critic Andrzej Bukowiecki. "He was controversial and provocative."
Pursuing his own expressive, restless style, Zulawski made movies in Poland and in France, where he was awarded a top distinction, the Legion of Honor, in 2002. As a writer, he experimented with form and message to the point of being provocative, sometimes even insulting, to those he wrote about.
Zulawski once said the only thing he was happy about was that his movies "don't die. They continue to stimulate viewers."
He said "Cosmos," based on a book by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, is a "metaphysical noir thriller." In the film, two friends discover mysterious and frightening signs while staying at a country guesthouse.
Marceau appeared in several of Zulawski's movies, including "Mad Love," "My Nights are More Beautiful Than Your Days" and "The Blue Note." Parents to a son, Vincent, they separated in 2001.
Other international stars that appeared in his movies include Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neil, Romy Schneider and Klaus Kinsky.