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Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91, Cause of Death

BY Sharmeen Hussain Sep 13, 2022. 12:57 pm UPDATED: Sep 13, 2022. 12:57 pm

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Jean-Luc Godard, Flim Director who spearheaded the revolutionary French New Wave of cinema, passed awat at the age of 91.

With 1960’s bout de souffle (Breathless), Godard made his cinematic debut and launched a string of critically acclaimed productions that completely altered the way movies were made.

His work gave movies a fresh sense of vitality and audacity, and it had an impact on filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.

Godard, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, “has the vision of a genius.”

In a tribute on Twitter, Mr Macron wrote: “He was like an apparition in French cinema. Then he became a master of it.

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

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

Before taking the helm of the elegant and edgy Breathless, Godard worked as a cinema reviewer. The film’s actors, Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo, were glamorous in a fresh, laid-back way, and the editing and dialogue were both semi-improvised.

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The director once said: “It was a film that took everything that cinema had done – girls, gangsters, cars – exploded all this and put an end, once and for all, to the old style.”

Le Petit Soldat (The Little Soldier) came next, but due to its depiction of torture authorised by the government, the movie wasn’t released until 1963.

The Danish model Anna Karina, who married Godard in 1961 and later starred in a number of his most popular films, was among its cast members.

She played a nightclub dancer who wants a baby in 1961’s Une Femme est une Femme (A Woman Is A Woman); a young Parisian prostitute in 1962’s Vivre sa vie (My Life to Live); and a gang member in Band of Outsiders in 1965.

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In a statement on Tuesday, his family said the Franco-Swiss director had died “peacefully at home”. They added: “No official [funeral] ceremony will take place. He will be cremated.”

He “infused cinema with poetry and philosophy,” according to Jack Lang, a former minister of culture in France, who spoke to Reuters, adding that “his sharp and unusual eye made us perceive the imperceptible.”

Actor Antonio Banderas was among many who paid tribute, writing: “Thank you monsieur Godard for extending the horizons of the film.”

“RIP Jean-Luc Godard, one of the most influential, iconoclastic film-makers of them all,” wrote Baby Driver filmmaker Edgar Wright.

“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.”

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