Jean-Luc Godard, iconic French New Wave film director, dies at 91 | Cinema News

Godard revolutionized popular cinema with his 1960 film debut, Breathless, and for many years ranked among the world’s most provocative filmmakers.

Film director Jean-Luc Godard, godfather of French New Wave cinema, has died at the age of 91, multiple French media outlets reported on Tuesday.

Godard is one of the most famous directors in the world, known for classics like Breathless and Contempt, the film that transcended cinematic boundaries and inspired iconic directors decades later. his 1960s heyday.

His films broke with the established conventions of French cinema in 1960 and helped launch a new way of filmmaking, complete with hand-held camera work, cutscenes, and existential dialogue.

Godard has made a string of films, often political and experimental, that please a few outside a small fan base and disappoint many critics with their overblown intellectualism. their level.

“It’s not where you get things – it’s where you take them,” he once said.

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux told The Associated Press he was “sad, sad, extremely sad” at the news of Godard’s death.

Jean Luc Godard
Godard, right, with actress Cecile Camp for their film In Praise of Love at the 54th Cannes Film Festival in 2001 [File: Reuters]

Godard was born into a wealthy Franco-Swiss family on December 3, 1930 in the posh 7th arrondissement of Paris. His father was a doctor, his mother the daughter of a Swiss man who founded Banque Paribas, then an illustrious investment bank.

He grew up in Nyon, Switzerland and studied ethnography at the Sorbonne in the French capital, where he became increasingly drawn to the cultural scene that flourished in the “movie club” of the Latin Quarter after second World War.

He was friends with future big-name directors Francois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer. Breathless, based on a story by Truffaut, was Godard’s first major success when it was released in March 1960.

In 1961, Godard married Danish-born model and actress Anna Karina, who appeared in a string of films he made throughout the remainder of the 1960s, all of which are considered to be mark of the New Wave. Notable among them are My Life to Live, Alphaville and Crazy Pete.

His work became more political in the late 1960s. Week End debuted a year before public anger over the establishment rocked France, culminating in a student incident. iconic but short-lived in May 1968.

Quentin Tarantino, the American director of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs in the 1990s, is often regarded as one of the most recent generations of the boundary-bending tradition that Godard and his Left Bank Paris cohort started chant.

It was preceded by Martin Scorsese in 1976 with Taxi Driver, the unsettling neon-lit psychological thriller about a Vietnam veteran turned taxi driver who drives across the street at night with a haunting obsession. growing photo of the need to clean up county-filled New York.

In December 2007, Godard was honored by the European Film Academy with a lifetime achievement award.

In 2010, he refused to go to Hollywood to accept the prestigious Oscar along with film historian and conservationist Kevin Brownlow, director and producer Francis Ford Coppola and actor Eli Wallach.

His life-long campaigning for the Palestinian cause also earned him repeated accusations of anti-Semitism, although he insisted that he sympathized with the Jewish people and their plight in Europe being denied by Germany. Nazi occupation.

He spent his final years in Rolle, Switzerland.

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