Iconic French new wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who pushed cinema boundaries with his groundbreaking storytelling style, died by assisted suicide at his home in Rolle, Switzerland, on Tuesday. He was 91.
Godard, whose works include Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Contempt and Week End, died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones, according to a statement released by his family.
Godard’s death came while suffering from “several debilitating pathologies.”
“He couldn’t live like you and I, so he decided with great clarity, as he had done all his life, to say, ‘Now is enough,'” Godard’s legal counsel Patrick Jeanneret said in a phone interview with the New York Times explains its decision in favor of assisted suicide, which is legal in Switzerland.
Godard’s first full-feature film, Breathless, released in 1960, explicitly encouraged more elaborate and realistic films during this period, although it wasn’t the first New Wave film.
“After ‘Breathless’ anything artistic seemed possible in the cinema. The film moved at the speed of the mind and unlike anything that had preceded it, seemed a live recording of a person thinking in real time,” said film critic Richard Brody once wrote in a piece about Godard.
Godard’s films were often political and experimental. He often challenged social norms and traditional Hollywood cinematic techniques.
In 1968 Godard, along with his friend and French New Wave colleague Francois Truffaut, led a protest at the Cannes Film Festival against the backdrop of civil unrest in France for workers’ and students’ rights.
“We talk about solidarity with students and workers, and you talk about dolly shots and close-ups. They’re a — holes,” Godard said of the festival.
American filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, and Quentin Tarantino, among others, have listed Godard as a major influence. Film critic Roger Ebert described Godard as a “pioneer whose present work is unacceptable to contemporary audiences”.
“We have lost a national treasure, the eye of a genius,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
Born in Paris, Godard was married twice and had no children. He was married to actress Anna Karina from 1961 to 1965. From 1967 to 1979 he was married to actress Anne Wiazemsky. Both French actresses starred in his films.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/jean-luc-godard-french-new-waves-enfant-terrible-dead-91-1838312?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Jean-Luc Godard, French New Wave’s “Enfant Terrible,” dead at 91