Jean-Luc Godard, the Franco-Swiss director who was a key figure in the Nouvelle Vague, the film-making movement that revolutionized cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s, has died at the age of 91, French newspaper Liberation reports.
Known for his seemingly improvised style of photography, as well as endless radicalism, Godard made his mark with a series of increasingly politicized films in the 1960s, before enjoying an unexpected career revival in recent years, with films such as Film Socialisme and Goodbye into the language Where he experimented with digital technology.
French President Emmanuel Macron chirp: “We lost a national treasure, the eye of a genius.” He said Godard was a “master” of cinema – “the most iconic move in the world of Nouvelle Vague”.
Among the filmmakers who paid tribute to last night’s Soho movie are Edgar Wright, who called him “One of the most influential and identifiable filmmakers of all time.”
Godard was born in Paris in 1930, grew up and went to school in Nyon, on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Returning to Paris after finishing his studies in 1949, Godard found a natural home in the intellectual “movie clubs” that flourished in the French capital after the war, establishing the crucible of the French New Wave. Having met the likes of critic André Bazin and fellow future directors François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Jacques Rivette, Godard began writing for new film magazines, including the soon-to-be influential Bazin magazines. Goddard made a splinter note from the start, championing traditional Hollywood filmmaking and promoting the likes of Howard Hawks and Otto Preminger over more modern characters. Godard also had a homage to Humphrey Bogart, something that would appear in his first film, Breathless, which he released in 1960.
Prior to that, Godard carved his way into the film industry through a series of short films, such as Charlotte and Veronique, or All Boys Named Patrick in 1957, who previously sketched out his loose-fitting style of filmmaking. An earlier idea of Truffaut, about a petty criminal and his girlfriend, was abandoned, but Goddard thought he could turn it into an advantage, and asked for permission to use it. Meanwhile, Truffaut was a hit with his own feature, The 400 Blows, and his influence helped Godard get his project off the ground. Filmed on the streets of Paris in 1959, with little use of artificial lighting, and daily script, Breathless turned into a well-meaning cultural phenomenon upon its release, making it a star Jean Paul Belmondo He won the Godard Award for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival.
Godard went on to make a string of staple films in the 1960s at a furious rate. His next film, Le Petit Soldat, suggested that the French government condoned torture, and was banned until 1963, but it was also the film in which Godard met his future wife, Anna Karina, and also coined his most famous aphorism, “Cinema is the truth” at 24 frames in the second.” Other highlights include A Woman Is a Woman, a self-referential tribute to the Hollywood musician, which once again starred Karina, along with Belmondo and earned more Berlin Awards; the extravagant epic about filmmaking, with Michel Piccoli, Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance and Fritz Lang; and AlphavilleA strange mixture of film noir and science fiction.
By 1965, Godard’s marriage to Karina had ended in divorce; Their last feature together was Made in USA, a homage to the American milkmaid fiction literature that has taken on the problem of copyright in the United States. By this time, Goddard was also completely connected with the revolutionary politics of the era, and his film production reflected this: he created a film production group named after Dziga Vertov, the Soviet director of Man with a Movie Camera, who helped close the film. At the Cannes Film Festival in 1968 in sympathy with the student riots in Paris, he collaborated with the young Marxist student Jean-Pierre Guerin in Tout Va Bien, a study of a strike in a sausage factory featuring Jane Fonda.
Godard also met, in 1970, filmmaker Anne Marie Mayville who would become a regular collaborator, and later partner after the breakdown of his second marriage, to Anne Wizemsky, who starred in Godard’s 1967 study of radical students, La Chinoise.
As the 1970s progressed, Godard’s tough political and intellectual stances began to lose character, and the influence of his work diminished in the 1980s – although it is unlikely that his 1987 film King Lear, recast as a post-apocalyptic farce depicting a gangster named Learo, was financed By business professionals Cannon Films.
His 2001 feature film In Praise of Love was a comeback, being selected for the Cannes Film Festival, while 2010’s Film Socialisme was preceded by an Honorary Academy Award in 2010 (quote text: “For passion. For confrontation. A new kind of cinema”) . Usually, Godard fails to collect it personally. His 2014 film Goodbye to Language saw him win a major filmmaking award, and the Jury Prize at Cannes, and the Image Book, which was selected for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, was awarded a one-time unique Palme d’Or. .