|Birth Day:||December 3, 1930|
|Birth Place:||Paris, France|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He wanted to study anthropology at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), but became involved in film-making instead.
Jean-Luc Godard was born on 3 December 1930 in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, the son of Odile (née Monod) and Paul Godard, a Swiss physician. His wealthy parents came from Protestant families of Franco–Swiss descent, and his mother was the daughter of Julien Monod, a founder of the Banque Paribas. She was the great-granddaughter of theologian Adolphe Monod. Other relatives on his mother's side include composer Jacques-Louis Monod, naturalist Théodore Monod and pastor Frédéric Monod. Four years after Jean-Luc's birth, his father moved the family to Switzerland. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Godard was in France, and returned to Switzerland with difficulty. He spent most of the war in Switzerland, although his family made clandestine trips to his grandfather's estate on the French side of Lake Geneva. Godard attended school in Nyon, Switzerland.
In Paris, in the Latin Quarter just prior to 1950, ciné-clubs (film societies) were gaining prominence. Godard began attending these clubs—the Cinémathèque Française, Ciné-Club du Quartier Latin (CCQL), Work and Culture ciné club, and others—which became his regular haunts. The Cinémathèque had been founded by Henri Langlois and Georges Franju in 1936; Work and Culture was a workers' education group for which André Bazin had organized wartime film screenings and discussions and which had become a model for the film clubs that had risen throughout France after the Liberation; CCQL, founded in about 1947 or 1948, was animated and intellectually led by Maurice Schérer. At these clubs he met fellow film enthusiasts including Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, and François Truffaut. Godard was part of a generation for whom cinema took on a special importance. He has said: "In the 1950s cinema was as important as bread—but it isn't the case any more. We thought cinema would assert itself as an instrument of knowledge, a microscope... a telescope.... At the Cinémathèque I discovered a world which nobody had spoken to me about. They'd told us about Goethe, but not Dreyer. ... We watched silent films in the era of talkies. We dreamed about film. We were like Christians in the catacombs."
Not a frequent cinema-goer, he attributed his introduction to cinema to a reading of Malraux's essay Outline of a Psychology of Cinema, and his reading of La Revue du cinéma, which was relaunched in 1946. In 1946, he went to study at the Lycée Buffon in Paris and, through family connections, mixed with members of its cultural elite. He lodged with the writer Jean Schlumberger. Having failed his baccalaureate exam in 1948 he returned to Switzerland. He studied in Lausanne and lived with his parents, whose marriage was breaking up. He spent time in Geneva also with a group that included another film fanatic, Roland Tolmatchoff, and the extreme rightist philosopher Jean Parvulesco. His elder sister Rachel encouraged him to paint, which he did, in an abstract style. After time spent at a boarding school in Thonon to prepare for the retest, which he passed, he returned to Paris in 1949. He registered for a certificate in anthropology at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), but did not attend class. He got involved with the young group of film critics at the ciné-clubs that started the New Wave. Godard originally held only French citizenship, then in 1953, he became a citizen of Gland, canton of Vaud, Switzerland, possibly through simplified naturalization through his Swiss father.
His foray into films began in the field of criticism. Along with Maurice Schérer (writing under the to-be-famous pseudonym Éric Rohmer) and Jacques Rivette, he founded the short-lived film journal Gazette du cinéma, which saw publication of five issues in 1950. When Bazin co-founded the influential critical magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 1951, Godard was the first of the younger critics from the CCQL/Cinémathèque group to be published. The January 1952 issue featured his review of an American melodrama directed by Rudolph Maté, No Sad Songs for Me. His "Defence and Illustration of Classical Découpage" published in September 1952, in which he attacks an earlier article by Bazin and defends the use of the shot-reverse shot technique, is one of his earliest important contributions to cinema criticism. Praising Otto Preminger and "the greatest American artist—Howard Hawks", Godard raises their harsh melodramas above the more "formalistic and overtly artful films of Welles, De Sica and Wyler which Bazin endorsed". At this point Godard's activities did not include making films. Rather, he watched films, and wrote about them, and helped others make films, notably Rohmer, with whom he worked on Présentation ou Charlotte et son steak.
Having left Paris in the autumn of 1952, Godard returned to Switzerland and went to live with his mother in Lausanne. He became friendly with his mother's lover, Jean-Pierre Laubscher, who was a labourer on the Grande Dixence Dam. Through Laubscher he secured work himself as a construction worker at the Plaz Fleuri work site at the dam. He saw the possibility of making a documentary film about the dam; when his initial contract ended, in order to prolong his time at the dam, he moved to the post of telephone switchboard operator. Whilst on duty, in April 1954, he put through a call to Laubscher which relayed the fact that Odile Monod, Godard's mother, had died in a scooter accident. Thanks to Swiss friends who lent him a 35mm movie camera, he was able to shoot on 35mm film. He rewrote the commentary that Laubscher had written, and gave his film a rhyming title Opération béton (Operation concrete). The company that administered the dam bought the film and used it for publicity purposes.
As he continued to work for Cahiers, he made Une femme coquette (1955), a 10-minute short, in Geneva; and in January 1956 he returned to Paris. A plan for a feature film of Goethe's Elective Affinities proved too ambitious and came to nothing. Truffaut enlisted his help to work on an idea he had for a film based on the true-crime story of a petty criminal, Michel Portail, who had shot a motorcycle policeman and whose girlfriend had turned him in to the police, but Truffaut failed to interest any producers. Another project with Truffaut, a comedy about a country girl arriving in Paris, was also abandoned. He worked with Rohmer on a planned series of short films centering on the lives of two young women, Charlotte and Véronique; and in the autumn of 1957, Pierre Braunberger produced the first film in the series, All the Boys Are Named Patrick, directed by Godard from Rohmer's script. Une histoire d'eau (1958) was created largely out of unused footage shot by Truffaut. In 1958, Godard, with a cast that included Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anne Colette, made his last short before gaining international prominence as a filmmaker, Charlotte et son Jules, an homage to Jean Cocteau. The film was shot in Godard's hotel room on the rue de Rennes and apparently reflected something of the 'romantic austerity' of Godard's own life at this time. His Swiss friend Roland Tolmatchoff noted; "In Paris he had a big Bogart poster on the wall and nothing else." In December 1958, Godard reported from the Festival of Short Films in Tours and praised the work of, and became friends with, Jacques Demy, Jacques Rozier, and Agnès Varda—he already knew Alain Resnais whose entry he also praised—but Godard now wanted to make a feature film. He travelled to the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and asked Truffaut to let him use the story on which they had collaborated in 1956, about car thief Michel Portail. He sought money from producer Georges de Beauregard, whom he had met previously whilst working briefly in the publicity department of Twentieth Century Fox's Paris office, and who was also at the Festival. Beauregard could offer his expertise, but was in debt from two productions based on Pierre Loti stories; hence, financing came instead from a film distributor, René Pignières.
Godard wanted to hire the American actress Jean Seberg, who was living in Paris with her husband François Moreuil, a lawyer, to play the American woman. Seberg had become famous in 1956 when Otto Preminger had chosen her to play Joan of Arc in his Saint Joan, and had then cast her in his acidulous 1958 adaptation of Bonjour Tristesse. Her performance in this film had not been generally regarded as a success—The New York Times's critic called her a "misplaced amateur"—but Truffaut and Godard disagreed. In the role of Michel Poiccard, Godard cast Belmondo, an actor he had already called, writing in Arts in 1958, "the Michel Simon and the Jules Berry of tomorrow." The cameraman was Raoul Coutard, choice of the producer Beauregard. Godard wanted Breathless to be shot like a documentary, with a lightweight handheld camera and a minimum of added lighting; Coutard had had experience as a documentary cameraman whilst working for the French army's information service in Indochina during the French-Indochina War. Tracking shots were filmed by Coutard from a wheelchair pushed by Godard. Though Godard had prepared a traditional screenplay, he dispensed with it and wrote the dialogue day by day as the production went ahead. The film's importance was recognized immediately, and in January 1960 Godard won the Jean Vigo Prize, awarded "to encourage an auteur of the future". One reviewer mentioned Alexandre Astruc's prophecy of the age of the caméra-stylo, the camera that a new generation would use with the efficacy with which a writer uses his pen—"here is in fact the first work authentically written with a caméra-stylo".
The following year Godard made Le Petit Soldat (The Little Soldier), filmed on location in Geneva, and dealing with the Algerian War of Independence. The film begins on 13 May 1958, the date of the attempted putsch in Algeria, and ends later the same month. In the film, Bruno Forestier, a photojournalist who has links with a right-wing paramilitary group working for the French government, is ordered to murder a professor accused of aiding the Algerian resistance. He is in love with Veronica Dreyer, a young woman who has worked with the Algerian fighters. He is captured by Algerian militants and tortured. His organisation captures and tortures her. The 'little soldier' was played by Michel Subor, and Veronica Dreyer by Anna Karina—his first collaboration with her. Unlike Seberg, Karina had virtually no experience as an actress and Godard used her awkwardness as an element of her performance. He wrote the dialogue every day and, since it was filmed without direct sound and was dubbed, called dialogue to the actors. Forestier was a character close to Godard himself, an image-maker and intellectual, 'more or less my spokesman, but not totally' Godard told an interviewer. The film, due to its political nature, implied that France was involved in a dirty war, engaging in torture, and was banned by the French government until January 1963. Godard and Karina were a couple by the end of the shoot. She appeared again, along with Belmondo, in Godard's first color film, A Woman Is a Woman (1961), which was intended as a homage to the American musical. Adjustments that Godard made to the original version of the story gave it autobiographical resonances, "specifically in regard to his relationship with Anna Karina". The film revealed "the confinement within the four walls of domestic life" and "the emotional and artistic fault lines that threatened their relationship".
In 1964, Godard and Karina formed a production company, Anouchka Films. He directed Bande à part (Band of Outsiders), another collaboration between the two and described by Godard as "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka." It follows two young men, looking to score on a heist, who both fall in love with Karina, and quotes from several gangster film conventions.
In 1965, Godard directed Alphaville, a futuristic blend of science fiction, film noir, and satire. Eddie Constantine starred as Lemmy Caution, a detective who is sent into a city controlled by a giant computer named Alpha 60. His mission is to make contact with Professor von Braun (Howard Vernon), a famous scientist who has fallen mysteriously silent, and is believed to be suppressed by the computer. Pierrot le Fou (1965) featured a complex storyline, distinctive personalities, and a violent ending. Gilles Jacob, an author, critic, and president of the Cannes Film Festival, called it both a "retrospective" and recapitulation in the way it played on so many of Godard's earlier characters and themes. With an extensive cast and variety of locations, the film was expensive enough to warrant significant problems with funding. Shot in color, it departed from Godard's minimalist works (typified by Breathless, Vivre sa vie, and Une femme mariée). He solicited the participation of Jean-Paul Belmondo, by then a famous actor, in order to guarantee the necessary amount of capital.
Between 1968 and 1973, Godard and Gorin collaborated to make a total of five films with strong Maoist messages. The most prominent film from the collaboration was Tout Va Bien (1972). The film starred Jane Fonda, who was, at the time, the wife of French filmmaker Roger Vadim. Fonda was at the height of her acting career, having won an Academy Award for her performance in Klute (1971) and, had gained notoriety as left-wing anti-war activist. The male lead was the legendary French singer and actor Yves Montand, who had appeared in prestigious films by Georges Clouzot, Alain Résnais, Sascha Guitry, Vincent Minelli, George Cukor and Costa-Gavras.
Godard has been married twice, to two of his leading women: Anna Karina (1961–1965) and Anne Wiazemsky (1967–1979). Beginning in 1970, he collaborated personally and professionally with Anne-Marie Miéville. Godard has lived with Miéville in the municipality of Rolle since 1978, being described by his ex-wife Karina as a "recluse".
In 1972, Godard and Swiss filmmaker Anne-Marie Miéville started the alternative video production and distribution company Sonimage, based in Grenoble. Under Sonimage, Godard produced both Numéro Deux (1975) and Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980). In 1976, Godard and Miéville, his wife, collaborated on a series of innovative video works for European broadcast television, titled Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication (1976) and France/tour/détour/deux/enfants (1978).
In 1978 Godard was commissioned by the Mozambican government to make a short film. During this time his experience with Kodak film led him to criticize the film stock as "inherently racist" since it did not reflect the variety, nuance or complexity in dark brown or dark skin. This was because Kodak Shirley cards were only made for Caucasian subjects, a problem that was not rectified until 1995.
Following this important collaboration, Godard met his life partner Anne-Marie Miéville. The two set up a production company, SonImage, in Switzerland and together they made two feature films, Number Two and Comment ca va. They also produced two series for French television, Six fois deux and France/tour/détour/deux enfants. Since Godard returned to mainstream filmmaking in 1980, Anne-Marie Miéville has remained an important collaborator.
Godard returned to somewhat more traditional fiction with Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980), the first of a series of more mainstream films marked by autobiographical currents: it was followed by Passion, Lettre à Freddy Buache (both 1982), Prénom Carmen (1984), and Grandeur et décadence d'un petit commerce de cinéma (1986). There was, though, another flurry of controversy with Je vous salue, Marie (1985), which was condemned by the Catholic Church for alleged heresy, and also with King Lear (1987), an essay on William Shakespeare and language. Also completed in 1987 was a segment in the film ARIA which was based loosely from the plot of Armide; it is set in a gym and uses several arias by Jean-Baptiste Lully from his famous Armide.
Between 1988 and 1998, he produced the multi-part series Histoire(s) du cinéma, a monumental project which combined all the innovations of his video work with a passionate engagement in the issues of twentieth-century history and the history of film itself.
In 2001, Éloge de l'amour (In Praise of Love) was released. The film is notable for its use of both film and video—the first half captured in 35 mm black and white, the latter half shot in color on DV—and subsequently transferred to film for editing. The blending of film and video recalls the statement from Sauve Qui Peut, in which the tension between film and video evokes the struggle between Cain and Abel. The film is also noted for containing themes of ageing, love, separation, and rediscovery as it follows the young artist Edgar in his contemplation of a new work on the four stages of love.
Godard has been accused by some of harboring anti-Semitic views: in 2010, in the lead-up to the presentation of Godard's honorary Oscar, a prominent article in The New York Times by Michael Cieply drew attention to the idea, which had been circulating through the press in previous weeks, that Godard might be an anti-Semite, and thus undeserving of the accolade. Cieply makes reference to Richard Brody's book Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, and alluded to a previous, longer article published by the Jewish Journal as lying near the origin of the debate. The article also draws upon Brody's book, for example in the following quotation, which Godard made on television in 1981: "Moses is my principal enemy...Moses, when he received the commandments, he saw images and translated them. Then he brought the texts, he didn't show what he had seen. That's why the Jewish people are accursed." Immediately after Cieply's article was published, Brody made a clear point of criticizing the "extremely selective and narrow use" of passages in his book, and noted that Godard's work has approached the Holocaust with "the greatest moral seriousness". Indeed, his documentaries feature images from the Holocaust in a context suggesting he considers Nazism and the Holocaust as the nadir of human history. Godard's views become more complex regarding the State of Israel. In 1970, Godard travelled to the Middle East to make a pro-Palestinian film he didn't complete and whose footage eventually became part of the 1976 film Ici et ailleurs. In this film, Godard seems to view the Palestinian cause as one of many worldwide Leftist revolutionary movements. Elsewhere, Godard has explicitly identified himself as an anti-Zionist but has denied the accusations of anti-Semitism.
Godard's film Film Socialisme (2010) premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It was released theatrically in France in May 2010.
Godard was rumored to be considering directing a film adaptation of Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, an award-winning book about the Holocaust. In 2013, Godard released the short Les trois désastres (The Three Disasters) as part of the omnibus film 3X3D with filmmakers Peter Greenaway and Edgar Pera. 3X3D premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
His 2014 film Goodbye to Language, shot in 3-D, revolves around a couple who cannot communicate with each other until their pet dog acts as an interpreter for them. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize.
In 2015 J. Hoberman reported that Godard is working on a new film. Initially titled Tentative de bleu, in December 2016 Wild Bunch co-chief Vincent Maraval stated that Godard had been shooting Le livre d’image (The Image Book) for almost two years "in various Arab countries, including Tunisia" and that it is an examination of the modern Arab World. Le livre d’image was first shown in November 2018.
In 2017, Michel Hazanavicius directed a film about Godard, Redoubtable, based on the memoir One Year After (2015) by Wiazemsky. It centers on his life in the late 1960s, when he and Wiazemsky made films together. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Godard said of the film that it was a "stupid, stupid idea".
On 4 December 2019, an art installation piece created by Godard opened at the Fondazione Prada in Milan. Titled Le Studio d’Orphée, the installation is a recreated workspace and includes editing equipment, furniture and other materials used by Godard in post-production.
Jean-Luc's first marriage, in July of 1967, was to Anne Wiamzemsky. Jean-Luc's later wives were
Currently, Jean-Luc Godard is 92 years, 2 months and 3 days old. Jean-Luc Godard will celebrate 93rd birthday on a Sunday 3rd of December 2023. Below we countdown to Jean-Luc Godard upcoming birthday.