Jean-Luc Godard, iconic French New Wave filmmaker, has died at 91
Jean-Luc Godard, the innovative director who changed the course of filmmaking with his unique style, died on Tuesday at 91. According to the New York Times, who spoke with Godard's legal adviser, Patrick Jeanneret, the French New Wave great had been suffering from "multiple disabling pathologies" and died by assisted suicide at his home in the district of Rolle, Switzerland. “He could not live like you and me, so he decided with a great lucidity, as he had all his life, to say, ‘Now, it’s enough,’” said Jeanneret.
Born in Paris in 1930, Godard was first a film critic and then became part of the French New Wave movement of the 1960s that also included François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer. His first feature was 1960's Breathless, one of the most iconic French New Wave films, and the influence of its visual style and use of jump cuts on cinema cannot be overstated. His filmography also includes such classics as Pierrot Le Fou, Bande À Part, Masculin Féminin, Week-End, Alphaville, Deux Ou Trois Choses Que Je Sais D’elle and many more.
“We’ve lost a national treasure, the eye of a genius,” tweeted French president Emmanuel Macron, calling him “the most iconoclastic of the Nouvelle Vague.”
Edgar Wright wrote on Twitter, "RIP Jean-Luc Godard, one of the most influential, iconoclastic film-makers of them all. 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. As one of a zillion examples, I discovered while making my Sparks doc that myself & Russell Mael had made, 25 years apart, near identical Breathless/Godard spoofs at college. His was 'Très sérieux' and mine was 'À Bout De Lemon Souffle'. Apologies JLG. Nous t'aimons!"
Rest in peace, Jean-Luc.