Jean-Luc Godard, a symbolic director of the Nouvelle vague, has died

Jean-Luc Godard, a symbolic director of the Nouvelle vague, has died

Jean-Luc Godard

Franco-Swiss film critic and director, he was one of the most important figures of cinema in the second half of the twentieth century. Jean-Luc Godard, one of the greatest exponents of the Nouvelle vague, the movement of which he was founder in the late 1950s, together with Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette and François Truffaut, all from "Cahiers du cinéma", died. On December 3 he would have turned 92.

After graduating from the Sorbonne in ethnology, Godard began his career as a critic for some cinema magazines such as Arts, Gazzette du cinéma and enters the circle of Cahiers du cinéma under the pseudonym of Hans Lucas. His career as a director began after several trips to America and after his participation in some construction work on the Grande Dixence dam in Switzerland, the highest in Europe. From this experience Godard decided to make a documentary, the first, entitled Opération béton.

After his first short films, including Charlotte et son Jules, with Jean-Paul Belmondo, the French actor who passed away a year ago, his first film is Up to the Last Breath, shot in just four weeks in the 1959, considered one of the most representative films of the New Wave. Among the masterpieces of Godard we remember The contempt of 1963, based on the novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia.

With his works, Godard has inspired many other directors. Think for example of the running scene in the Louvre, which we also find in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers, while Quentin Tarantino's production company is called A Band apart from the title of the 1964 film Bande à part by the French filmmaker. Tarantino would also be inspired by this film for the dance scene between Uma Thurman and John Travolta in his Pulp Fiction masterpiece. Among the awards that have been awarded to him, Godard received the Golden Lion of Venice for Prènom Carmen in 1983.

Nouvelle Vague is also the title of one of his films, dated 1990, in which the director he inserted dialogues and lines taken from novels by authors such as Fëdor Dostoevskij, Dante Alighieri and Mary Shelley. His latest work, “Le livre Immagage”, was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, to which the director was unable to be physically present, preferring to appear on video call.

Tributes To Jean-Luc Godard Pour In From The World Of Cinema And Beyond

Tributes to Jean-Luc Godard, a pioneering leader of French cinema, began to flood in immediately after it was reported that the director died today, aged 91, with figures from the world of cinema, politics, and beyond remembering the director for his powerful, singular work.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, was among the first to pay tribute to Godard with a short message on social media, saying France has lost a “national treasure” and the director was the most “iconoclastic of New Wave filmmakers.”

A source close to Godard confirmed the filmmaker’s death to Deadline following initial reports in the French newspaper Liberation. Best known for his radical and politically driven work, Godard was among the most acclaimed directors of his generation with classic films such as Breathless (À bout de souffle), which catapulted him onto the world scene in 1960.

Speaking on France Info radio shortly after the news broke, Jack Lang, former Culture Minister of France, said Godard was “Unique, absolutely unique… He wasn’t just cinema, he was philosophy, poetry.”

Gilles Jacob, former president of the Cannes Film Festival, described Godard as the “Picasso of cinema” in a social media tribute Tuesday.

Godard found most acclaim with his seminal works of the 1960s, including Le Petit Soldat, which was banned until 1963, and starred the director’s future wife, Anna Karina. Remarking on Godard’s radical and passionate approach to cinema, British director Edgar Wright said: “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…”

The British Film Institute called Godard a “giant of cinema who ripped up the rule book.”

“From Breathless onwards, he tested the limits of the medium,” the BFI said.

Read the full tributes down below. We will share more reactions as they come in…