Jean-Luc Godard, French director and father of the Nouvelle Vague, died at the age of 91. The French newspaper reports it Libération who defines him as “A total director with a thousand lives and such a prolific work”.
‘Until the last breath’, Godard’s masterpiece with Belmondo and Seberg is restored
Born in Paris on December 3, 1930, he was one of the most significant cinematographic authors of the second half of the twentieth century. Prominent exponent of the Nouvelle Vague, from his first feature film, À bout de souffle (Until the last breath) of 1961 with Jean Paul Belmondo (who passed away last year), was a point of reference for young filmmakers of the 1960s, representing a demarcation mark between eras and cultures in the history of cinema.
A director “against”
Protagonist of great controversies and furious quarrels, in 2017 he was told in the biopic of Michel Hazanavicius My Godardwith Louis Garrel in the role of the director, a personal tribute to the master who tells the love story between the filmmaker and the actress Anne Wiazemsky and the days of the Parisian May when he stopped the Cannes festival together with his colleagues from the Nouvelle Vague. For over sixty years Godard was a man and an artist “against”, scion of a rich bourgeois family in the 60s he sided against capitalism and mass culture but above all against the cinema of his fathers which he attacked first as a critic , then as a filmmaker and political agitator.
‘Le livre d’amore’ the editing film by Jean-Luc Godard – trailer
The latest film in Cannes
Godard’s latest work, Le livre Immagage (The picture book) was presented in competition at the Cannes film festival but Godard did not go. In recent years, the master has lived holed up in a Swiss village, escaping any public or social occasion. But on that occasion he spoke to journalists by connecting on video with a cell phone: “At this age I have difficulty living my life, but I still have the courage to imagine it”.
In his sixty-year career, Godard has directed over 150 of his films and videos. Among the most famous, what is considered the manifesto of the Nouvelle Vague, A bout de souffle (Until the last breath), shot in 1960, protagonists Jean-Paul Belmondo And Jean Seberg, which reflected the aspirations of many authors belonging to his generation: a low-cost cinema, outside the industrial structures, removed from the rules of the show. The radical critique of traditional cinematographic language was joined, in subsequent films, by an increasingly conscious critique of dominant social values: This is my life (1962), Woman is woman (1962), Les carabiniers (1963), Contempt (1963), with Brigitte Bardot And Michel Piccolibased on the novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia, A married woman (1964), The eleven o’clock bandit (1965) again with Jean-Paul Belmondo, The male and the female (1966), An American story (1966), Two or three things I know about her (1966).
Beginning in 1967, Godard turned to a more explicitly militant cinema, experimenting with new modes of production and both aesthetic and ideological elaboration: The Chinese (1967), British sound (1969), Pravda (1969), Struggles in Italy (1970), Crack master, all is well (1972). Lyricism and irony, awareness of the crisis and a new figurative sensibility seem to prevail in the films shot since the late seventies: “Si salvi chi can” (1979) with Isabelle Huppert, Prénom Carmen (1982), Je vous salue Marie (1984), Detective (1985), New wave (1990), Germany nine zero (1992).
The last period
In the 1990s Godard continued his search for new visual forms by creating Hélas pour moi (1993), Forever Mozart (1996). He has “rewritten”, with a critical slant, a personal history of cinema through images with Histoire (s) du cinéma (1998), The origin of the XXIème siècle (2000) and Pour une histoire du XXIème siècle (2000). Then he directed Éloge de amaour (2001), Notre musique (2004), Vrai faux passeport (2006), the short film Une catastrophe (2008), Socialisme films (2010), Adieu au langage (2013, for which the following year he received the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival) and the last, The livre of the image, awarded in 2018 with the special Palme d’Or at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
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