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Iconic French new wave director Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91

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The French New Wave seminal figure who revolutionized popular cinema in 1960 with his first major attempt, Breathless, and has stood for years as one of the world’s most dynamic and provocative directors. The ‘horrible child’ Jean-Luc Godard has died. he was 91 years old.


What you need to know

  • Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard was a 1960s French New Wave icon best known for the classic film Breathless.he was 91
  • Swiss news agency ATS said Godard’s partner and her producer passed away peacefully on Tuesday at their home in the Swiss town of Rolles on Lake Geneva, surrounded by loved ones.
  • The seminal “Scary Children” has stood for years as one of the world’s most dynamic and provocative directors in Europe and beyond.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “We have lost our national treasure, the eye of genius.”

Swiss news agency ATS said Godard’s partner Anne-Marie Meville and her producer died peacefully surrounded by loved ones at their home in the Swiss town of Rolle on Lake Geneva on Tuesday. rice field.

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed Godard as “the most iconoclast of all New Wave directors”, having “invented a resolutely modern and remarkably liberal art form”.

“We have lost a national treasure, an eye of genius,” he added.

Godard defied convention during a long career that began in the 1950s as a film critic. He rewrote the camera, sound and narrative rules.

He has worked with some of the most famous names in French cinema, including Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Paul Belmondo, the bad boy who rose to stardom through Godard’s films. He created an early Rolling Stones profile, gave voice to Marxist, left-wing, and black power politics of the 1960s, and was controversial when Pope John Paul II condemned it in 1985. The modern nativity play “Hail Mary” made headlines.

While much of his work was admired, Godard also produced a series of political and experimental films, full of exaggerated intellectualism, with few to please but a few fans. irritated many critics who viewed the

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was “extremely sad” to hear of Godard’s passing.

Born on December 3, 1930 in Paris to a wealthy French-Swiss family, Godard grew up in Nyons, Switzerland and studied ethnology in the French capital, the Sorbonne. Post-World War II cine club.

He befriended future big names François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Eric Romer, and founded the short-lived Gazette du Cinema in 1950. By 1952 he began writing for the famous film magazine Cahiers du Cinema.

After working on two films, Rivette and Romer, in 1951, Godard attempted to direct his first film while traveling with his father in the Americas, but it was never completed.

Back in Europe, he got a job as a construction worker on a dam project in Switzerland. He used the reward to fund his first full-length film in 1954, Operation Concrete, his 20-minute documentary about dam construction.

Upon returning to Paris, Godard continued to hone his writing, working as a spokesman for an artist agency and releasing his first feature film, All Boys Are Called Patrick, in 1957 in 1959.

He also began work on “Breathless”, based on Truffaut’s story. When it was published in March 1960, it was Godard’s first major success.

The film stars Belmondo as a penniless young thief modeled after a gangster in Hollywood films who, after shooting a police officer, flees to Italy with his American girlfriend played by Jean Seberg.

Along with Truffaut’s 400 Strikes, released in 1959, Godard’s film set a new tone in the aesthetics of French cinema. Godard rejected the conventional narrative style, instead using frequent jump cuts to mix philosophical discussion with action scenes.

He spiced everything up with references to Hollywood gangster movies and nods to literature and the visual arts.

Godard also began his lifelong involvement in collaborative film projects, providing scenes for The Seven Deadly Sins with directors such as Claude Chabrol and Roger Vadim. He also worked with Hugo Gregoretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Roberto Rossellini on the Italian film Let’s Have a Brainwash, in which Godard’s scenes set in a disturbing apocalypse. I’m here.

Godard, who later earned a reputation for his uncompromising left-wing political views, first clashed with French authorities when he made The Little Soldier in 1960. Filled with references to the French colonial war in Algeria, the film was not released until 1963, a year after the conflict ended.

His work turned more political by the late 1960s. In The Weekend, his characters satirize the hypocrisy of bourgeois society and show the ludicrous futility of violent class struggle. It was announced a year before public outrage over the establishment rocked France, culminating in the symbolic but short-lived student riots of May 1968.

Godard had a lifelong sympathy with the various forms of socialism depicted in films from the early 1970s to the 1990s.

Some of the world’s greatest directors, including Quentin Tarantino, Bernardo Bertolucci, Brian De Palma and Jonathan Demme, are credited with influencing Godard’s boundary-breaking work.

Godard has had potshots in Hollywood over the years.

Rather than travel to Hollywood in November 2010 to receive an honorary Oscar with film historian and conservationist Kevin Brownlow, director and producer Francis Ford Coppola, and actor Eli Wallach, Stayed in Switzerland.

His lifelong defense of the Palestinian cause brought repeated accusations of anti-Semitism, even though he claimed to be sympathetic to Jews and their plight in Nazi-occupied Europe.

The Academy received several complaints about Godard being selected to win the award, but Academy president Tom Sherak said the director had only “contributions to New Wave-era cinema”. Said it was approved.

Godard married Danish-born model and actress Anna Karina in 1961. She appeared in a series of films he made during the rest of his 1960s, all of which were considered landmarks of the New His Wave. Notable among them were “My Life to Live”, “Alphaville” and “Crazy Pete”, which also starred Belmondo and were rumored to have been filmed without a script. Divorced to.

Godard married his second wife, Anne Wiazemski, in 1967. Godard moved with Miéville to the Swiss city of Lore in 1979 before he divorced Wiazemsky and lived with her for the rest of his life.

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