Michel Piccoli was a French actor of the generation of Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort and yes, Yves Montand.
Of note is his work with Marco Ferreri (Dillinger Is Dead, La Grande Bouffe, The Last Woman and Don’t Touch the White Woman!); with Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid Belle de jour, The Milky Way, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Phantom of Liberty); and Jean-Luc Godard (Contempt).
In The Milky Way (1969) he plays Marquis de Sade.
Then there is the iconic La Grande Bouffe (1973), the story of three bourgeois men who decide to eat themselves to death.
Later I saw Themroc (1973), one of the strangest counterculture films where he played opposite the tragic but delightful Patrick Dewaere.
Watching clips on YouTube, you see him with Romy Schneider in The Things of Life (1970), my god what a beautiful woman she was.
In the first clip (13:53) Anna stands in front of a mirror in the same bathroom as in which she takes a bath in the third clip.
The voice-over: “What was directly lived reappears frozen in the distance, engraved in the tastes and illustions of an era and carried off with it.”
In the second clip (14:41) she is in the bath and rubs herself with soap.
The voice-over: “There is no more should-be; being has been consumed to the point of ceasing to exist. The details are already lost in the dust of time. “Who was afraid of life, afraid of the night, afraid of being taken, afraid of being kept?”
In the third clip (17:30) she is seen at the wheel of a convertible car, a bird’s eye view, three young people get out of the car.
The voice-over: “In the final analysis, stars are not created by their talent or lack of talent, or even by the film industry or advertising. They are created by the need we have for them.”
The fourth clip (18:09) begins where the first clip left off.
The voice-over: “The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life.” Translations are from .