Jean-Luc Godard, the iconic French-Swiss director who was a crucial figure in the Nouvelle Vague, the film-making movement which revolutionized cinema during the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away at the age of 91.

Jean-Luc Godard, a legend of French cinema, passed away at 91
Jean-Luc Godard, a legend of French cinema, passed away at 91

In a tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the director, calling him a “national treasure.”

He tweeted, “It was like an apparition in French cinema. Then he became one of its masters.”

Macron added, “Jean-Luc Godard, the most iconoclastic of New Wave directors, had invented a resolutely modern, intensely free art. [So] we lose a national treasure, a genius outlook.”

Godard became famous as a director for Breathless (1960) and Week End (1967).

This period of his career featured relatively conventional films that often referred to different aspects of film history.

Godard’s work during this period claimed to be groundbreaking. However, his next phase denounced much of cinema’s history as bourgeois and meritless.

In the 20th century, Godard emerged as one of the leading filmmakers of the French New Wave.

A 1969 article by Roger Ebert highlighted Godard’s importance to the cinema. He wrote, “Godard is a director of the very first rank; no other director in the 1960s has had more influence on the development of the feature-length film.”

He continued, “Like Joyce in fiction or Beckett in theater, he is a pioneer whose present work is not acceptable to present audiences.”

Additionally, Ebert mentioned, “But his influence on other directors is gradually creating and educating an audience that will, perhaps in the next generation, be able to look back at his films and see that this is where their cinema began.”

During his long career as a screenwriter, the famous screenwriter was married twice to leading females in his films, Anna Karina (1961-1965) and Anne Wiazemsky (1967-1979).

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