Jean-Luc Godard, Legendary French Film Director, Dies at 91

Film director Jean-Luc Godard, who spearheaded the revolutionary New Wave of French cinema, has died at the age of 91.

Godard burst onto the scene with 1960’s À bout de souffle (Breathless), which launched a series of acclaimed releases that rewrote the rules of cinema.

His work brought a new enthusiasm and audacity to cinema and influenced directors from Martin Scorsese to Quentin Tarantino.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Godard “had the vision of a genius.”

In a tribute on Twitter, Macron wrote: “He was like an appearance in the French cinema. Then he became a teacher.”

“Jean-Luc Godard, the most iconoclastic of New Wave filmmakers, invented an art that is resolutely modern and intensely free. We have lost a national treasure, a man who had the vision of a genius.”

Godard’s rich vein of influential films in the 1960s also included Le Mépris (Contempt), Bande à Part (Band of Outsiders), and Alphaville.

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Godard started out as a film critic before stepping behind the camera with the stylish and avant-garde Out of Breath. It stars Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo glamorous in a new, casual way, while the camera was constantly moving, the editing was fast and daring, and the script was semi-improvised.

The director once said, “It was a movie that took everything that cinema had ever done: girls, gangsters, cars, blew all of that up and put an end, once and for all, to the old style.”

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