French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91

According to reports, director Jean-Luc Godard, a pioneer of the French New Wave genre who revolutionized popular cinema in the 1960s, has died at the age of 91.

Several French media outlets confirmed that they learned of Godard’s death from his relatives on Tuesday.

Born into a wealthy French-Swiss family on December 3, 1930, in Paris, the ingenious “terrible” has over the years become one of the world’s most important and provocative directors in Europe. Europe and beyond – starting in 1960 with his debut film Breathless.

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French actress Anna Karina with Godard (AP)

His films catapulted Jean-Paul Belmondo to stardom and his controversial modern nativity play Hail Mary garnered headlines when Pope John Paul II condemned it in 1985.

According to reports, director Jean-Luc Godard, a pioneer of the French New Wave genre who revolutionized popular cinema in the 1960s, has died at the age of 91.

Several French media outlets confirmed that they learned of Godard’s death from his relatives on Tuesday.

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Godard at the festival palace in Cannes, France, in May 2001 (AP)

Born into a wealthy French-Swiss family on December 3, 1930, in Paris, the ingenious “terrible” has over the years become one of the world’s most important and provocative directors in Europe. Europe and beyond – starting in 1960 with his debut film Breathless.

His films catapulted Jean-Paul Belmondo to stardom and his controversial modern nativity play Hail Mary garnered headlines when Pope John Paul II condemned it in 1985.

But Godard also made a string of films, often political and experimental, that pleased a few outside a small fan base and disappointed many critics with their inflated intellectualism. their excess.

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Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was “sad, very sad. Incredibly,” before news of Godard’s death.

Godard grew up in Nyon, Switzerland, studying 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 befriended future famous directors Francois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer and in 1950 founded the Gazette du Cinema. In 1952, he began writing for the prestigious film magazine Cahiers du Cinema.

After making two films by Rivette and Rohmer in 1951, Godard attempted to direct his first film while traveling through North and South America with his father, but never finished.

Back in Europe, he took a job in Switzerland as a construction worker on a dam construction project. He used the pay to finance his first full-fledged film in 1954, Operation Concrete, a 20-minute documentary about the construction of the dam.

Returning to Paris, Godard worked as a spokesman for an artist company and made his first film in 1957 – All Boys Are Called Patrick, released 1959 – and continued to hone his writing.

He also began work on Breathless, based on a story by Truffaut. This was Godard’s first major success when it was released in March 1960.

The film stars Belmondo as a penniless young thief who models for gangsters in Hollywood movies and after shooting a cop he runs off to Italy with his friends. his American girl, played by Jean Seeberg.

Like Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, released in 1959, Godard’s film set a new tone for French cinematic aesthetics. Godard rejected the conventional narrative style and instead used frequent cutscenes that intermingled philosophical discussions with action sequences.

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Berangue Allaux, directors Jean-Luc Godard and Madaleine Assas pose at the premiere of For Ever Mozart in Venice in September 1996 (AP)

He made all the inquiries regarding Hollywood gangster movies, and gave nods to literature and the visual arts.

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 – also starring Belmondo and rumored to have been filmed without a script.

Godard also launched what is believed to be a long career involvement in collective film projects, contributing many scenes to the Seven Deadly Sins alongside directors such as Claude Chabrol and Roger Vadim.

He also worked with Ugo Gregoretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Roberto Rossellini on the Italian film Let’s Have A Brainwash, with Godard’s scenes depicting a tumultuous post-apocalyptic world.

Godard, who would later become known for his uncompromising leftist political views, had an argument with the French authorities in 1960 when he made The Little Soldier. The film, which is related to the French colonial war in Algeria, was not released until 1963, a year after the conflict ended.

His work became more political in the late 1960s. In the Week End, his characters shed light on the hypocrisy of bourgeois society even as they displayed comic book futility. of violent class warfare.

It came a year before public anger over the establishment rocked France, culminating in the iconic but short-lived student event in May 1968.

Godard has cultivated a lifelong empathy for the various forms of socialism depicted in films from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. In December 2007, he was awarded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Entertainment Awards. Photo Europe honored with a lifetime achievement award.

Godard has been shooting casual shots in Hollywood over the years.

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Godard and Israeli producer Menahem Golan 1987 (AP)

He remained at home in Switzerland instead of going to Hollywood to receive his honorary Oscar at a private ceremony in November 2010 alongside film historian and conservationist Kevin Brownlow, director and producer Francis Ford Coppola and Actor Eli Wallach.

His lifelong campaigning for the Palestinian cause also led him to be repeatedly accused of anti-Semitism, although he insisted that he sympathized with the Jewish people and their plight in Europe being denied by Germany. Nazi occupation.

Although the Academy has received some complaints about Godard being selected to receive the award, Academy President Tom Sherak said the director was only recognized “for his contributions to cinema during the Ages.” original New Wave”.

In 2010, Godard released Film Socialisme, a three-chapter film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

The last years of his life he lived in Rolle, Switzerland, near where he grew up along the shores of Lake Geneva.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/french-new-wave-film-pioneer-jean-luc-godard-dies-aged-91-41984684.html French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91

Fry Electronics Team

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