Washington [US]13/9/22: French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard, the godfather of France’s New Wave cinema, passed away at the age of 91, on Tuesday.
News of his death was confirmed by French media on Tuesday morning. According to Fox News, Godard is regarded as a pivotal figure in the French New Wave movement. The movement, which differed from previous film styles, emphasised realism in storytelling while incorporating experimentation with editing techniques.
Godard’s debut film, ‘A bout de souffle (Breathless)’ established him as one of the world’s most vital and provocative directors, both in Europe and beyond.
Jean-Paul Belmondo rose to fame thanks to his films. When Pope John Paul II condemned Godard’s controversial modern nativity play “Hail Mary” in 1985, it made headlines.
In 1963, Godard collaborated with iconic French actress Brigitte Bardot on the film Le Mepris (Contempt).
According to Variety, Godard’s most ambitious project was his multipart video project “Histoire(s) du Cinema” (1988-1998), an iconoclastic and highly personal examination of the concept of cinema and its relationship to the twentieth century. His most recent films, “In Praise of Love” (2001) and “Notre musique” (2004), were critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival. When his “Film Socialisme” screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2010, it elicited a more amused reaction; the highly experimental work ended with a title card reading “No Comment,” a statement reflected in Godard’s conspicuous absence from the festival.
Godard, however, experienced a significant career resurgence at Cannes in 2014 with “Goodbye to Language,” in which he experimented with the 3D format while providing “a characteristically vigorous, playful, mordant commentary on everything from the state of movies to the state of the world,” as described by Variety’s Scott Foundas. It won the festival’s jury prize (shared with Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy”) and later won the award for best film of Godard and his partner, Swiss director Anne-Marie Mieville,who collaborated closely for at least the last 30 years of his life.
Godard married Anna Karina, an actor who appeared in several of his films, in 1961. He married Anne Wiazemensky in 1965, following the divorce of the couple .Numerous filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, and Quentin Tarantino, were influenced by the legendary director.
Born December 3, 1930, in Paris, France, to a doctor and a daughter of a Swiss investment bank founder, Godard hailed from a wealthy family, While studying for a degree in ethnology at the University of Paris, his foray into filmmaking began with the short movie “Opération Béton” (“Operation Concrete”) in 1954
Godard’s first feature film, “À bout de souffle” (“Breathless”) in 1960, was a celebration of the nonchalant improvisational cinematography that became synonymous with his style.
In the years that followed, his films revolved around complex issues such as fickleness, indignity and caprice. Among his notable later works were his “trilogy of the sublime,” which consisted of three films that explored femininity, nature and religion – 1982’s “Passion,” the following year’s “Prénom Carmen” (“First Name: Carmen”) and “Je vous salue, Marie” (“Hail Mary”) in 1985.
Danish-French actress Anna Karina, who starred in multiple works and was also married to the director for a short time, said working with Godard often meant they didn’t have a script and had to learn the dialogue just before shooting.Much like his filmography, Godard had an idiosyncratic, rebellious streak. At the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, he appeared at a press conference via video chat instead of physically attending. During his long career, he was awarded an honorary César in 1987 and 1998 and received an honorary Academy Award in 2010
.Many tributes have been posted on social media by members of the movie industry. In a tweet, actor Antonio Banderas thanked Godard for “expanding the boundaries of the cinema.”
Edgar Wright, the director known for “Baby Driver” and “Hot Fuzz,” called him “one of the most influential, iconoclastic filmmakers of them all.”
Wright tweeted: “It was ironic that he himself revered the Hollywood studio film-making system, as perhaps no other director inspired as many people to just pick up a camera and start shooting.”French newspaper Liberation was the first to report Godard’s death.