"RIP Jean-Luc Godard, one of the most influential, iconoclastic film-makers of them all," said film director Edgar Wright. "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..."

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Godard was not universally revered however; some of his sharpest critics included the late Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, himself a trailblazer in European cinema who is perhaps best known for his 1957 films "The Seventh Seal" and "Wild Strawberries".

"I've never gotten anything out of (Godard's) movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring," he said once in an interview, according to his foundation's website.

New wave, new ways

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

This upbringing contrasted with his later pioneering ways. Godard fell in with like-minded folk whose dissatisfaction with humdrum movies that never strayed from convention sowed the seeds of a breakaway movement which came to be called the Nouvelle Vague.

With its more forthright, offbeat approach to sex, violence and its explorations of the counter-culture, anti-war politics and other changing mores, the New Wave was about innovation in the making of movies.

Godard was one of the most prolific of his peers, producing dozens of short- and full-length films over more than half a century from the late 1950s.

"Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form," Godard said.

Most of his most influential and commercially successful films came in the 1960s, including "Vivre Sa Vie" (My Life to Live), "Pierrot le Fou", "Two or Three Things I Know About Her" and "Weekend".

He switched to directing films steeped in leftist, anti-war politics through the 1970s before returning to a more commercial mainstream. Recent works, however - among them "Goodbye to Language" in 2014 and "The Image Book" in 2018 - were more experimental and slimmed the audience largely to Godard geeks.

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