Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has died

(Role) A new wave agitator, he shattered the codes of cinema with resolutely innovative films, from ‘Breathless’ to ‘Sauve qui peut (la vie)’: Franco-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard died on Tuesday at the age of 14 years died 91 and thus takes a piece of history of the 7e Art.

Posted at 6:03 am
Updated at 8:07 am

Nina Larson and Francois BECKER
Media Agency France

“It was like an appearance in French cinema. Then he became champion […]. We are losing a national treasure, a look of genius,” President Macron replied amid the rain of tributes paid to this cinematic monument.

The eternal rebel “JLG”, as he was known, lived for years in Rolle on the shores of Lake Geneva, fleeing the world of the 7th generatione Art.

In this peaceful place, the few passers-by who walked near his home seemed unaware of his death on Tuesday, according to a local AFP journalist. His longtime partner, director Anne-Marie Miéville, lives a stone’s throw away.

“Jean-Luc Godard died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones. He will be cremated,” she said in a statement. “There will be no official ceremony,” she specifies, for those who fled the awards.

“JLG” will go down in history as one of the most influential directors on both sides of the Atlantic. A brilliant provocateur who revolutionized cinema for his fans, a tortured intellectual whose films are incomprehensible to his critics.

With his death, a chapter in cinema history closes with unforgettable footage: Bardot naked on a bed, whispering “Do you like my butt? (“Le Contempt”), Belmondo with his face bruised and covered in dynamite (“Pierrot le Fou”), Jean Seberg and his New York Herald Tribune auctioned on the Champs-Élysées (“A Bout de souffle”)…

star maker

“And Godard created Contempt and it was breathless that he entered the firmament of the last great star creators…” Brigitte Bardot responded on Twitter with a photo of her embracing the filmmaker.

It was through this last film that Godard, a critic of the Cahiers du Cinema born in Paris on December 3, 1930, made himself known. The first feature film of the latter, who later studied at film schools, also launched Jean-Paul Belmondo’s career.

Godard, who wants to turn his back on the old French post-war cinema that he hates, remains head of directors at Neue Welle with François Truffaut.

“Godard is the greatest filmmaker in the world,” didn’t hesitate to say the latter. He “isn’t the only one filming how he breathes, but he’s the one who breathes best.”

For many filmmakers, Godard would have a great influence through his freedom, his freedom from forms, such as the American Quentin Tarantino, who christened his production company Bande à Part, the title of a 1964 Godard film.

But until his death, “JLG”, whose films and statements have become increasingly incomprehensible over the years, never tried to achieve unanimity, quite the contrary. And some judge his work to be hermetic and pedantic rather than profound, boring rather than enigmatic.

Because the artist with his eyes covered by dark glasses and cigar in his mouth does not shoot like the others, does not ride like the others and maintains a special relationship with the actors and actresses, whom he does not spare.

Pro-Palestinian engagement

A born provocateur, Godard was also an important but unclassifiable figure for the left. “The Swiss anarchist”, according to the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival, which he helped to cancel in May 1968, was also “the most stupid pro-Chinese Swiss” for the situationists.

At that time he started a militant cinema with 3-minute leaflet films and denied his previous production. In order to “make political cinema political”, he gives up the concept of the author.

Subsequently, the pro-Palestinian director, who is sometimes accused of anti-Semitism, will produce “Ici et Ailleurs” with his last partner Anne-Marie Miéville, a film in which he compares the Jews to the Nazis, causing a scandal .

He will also anger Pope John Paul II with “Ave Maria” and his naked Virgin on screen.

In 2018, the Cannes Film Festival awarded him a “special” Palme d’or for “Le Livre d’image”, a prize he obviously did not seek, nor did his 2014 Jury Prize for “Farewell to Language”.

Famous for his aphorisms and good words, during his lifetime the Mannkino had proposed his epitaph: “Jean-Luc Godard, on the contrary”.

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