Jean-Luc Godard has died aged 91. The pioneering French-Swiss filmmaker who is known for his French New Wave movies including the likes of ‘Contempt’, ‘My Life to Live’ and ‘Breathless’ has passed away, leaving behind an amazing legacy.
Friends close to Godard revealed his death on Tuesday (13.09.22) in French newspaper Liberation. A cause of death is yet to be revealed. During his career, he joined many of his contemporaries in criticising mainstream French cinema for its so-called “tradition of quality”.
Although he was given an Academy Honorary Award in 2010, he didn’t attend the ceremony to receive the prize. In 2001, his film ‘In Praise of Love’ focused on an elderly Jewish couple whose life rights are potentially being bought by Steven Spielberg, which was reportedly meant as a manner of condemning ‘Schindler’s List’.
He said it “emphasised craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation”. He has been hailed as France’s most radical filmmaker in the 1960s and 1970s, and his work inspired the likes of Quentin Tarantino.
He once explained: “Spielberg thinks black and white is more serious than colour. “It’s phony thinking. To him it’s not phony, I think he’s honest to himself, but he’s not very intelligent, so it’s a phony result. … “[He] used [Oskar Schindler] and this story and all the Jewish tragedy as if it were a big orchestra, to make a stereophonic sound from a simple story.”
Another added: “Sad to hear about the passing of Jean-Luc Goddard. A legend of the film industry.” And a third wrote: “Jean-Luc Goddard passed away. While I would never claim to be an expert on the man’s filmography, if you have any interest in cinema as an art form at all, see Week-End.”
Film fans have flooded social media with tributes to the late director following the sad news of his death. One person tweeted: “Sad to hear about Jean-Luc Goddard. My first viewing of Breathless remains one of the most important moments for my love of French New Wave and cinema as a whole.”