Legendary film director Jean-Luc Godard died aged 91, leaving behind a legacy that became an inspiration for iconoclastic directors.
Considered the godfather of France’s New Wave cinema, Godard was among the world’s most acclaimed directors and was arguably the most influential French filmmaker of the post-war era.
A family representative said he died by assisted suicide in Switzerland after the director was stricken with multiple invalidating illnesses.
Godard was widely acclaimed for classics “Breathless” and “Contempt”, which helped kickstart a new way of filmmaking, with a different approach on camera takes, editing and the use existential dialogues.
“Jean-Luc Godard, the most iconoclastic filmmaker of the New Wave, had invented a resolutely modern, intensely free art. We are losing a national treasure, a look of genius,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.
“Godard created Contempt and then, Breathless, he has joined the firmament of the last great star-makers”, wrote legendary actress Brigitte Bardot, who appeared in several of Godard’s films.
According to critics, in Quentin Tarantino’s films and Martin Scorsese’s classic “Taxi Driver”, Godard influence is clear.
Tarantino once said Godard was “so influential” to him as a director. “Godard is one who taught me the fun and the freedom and the joy of breaking rules… I consider Godard to be to cinema what Bob Dylan was to music,” he said.
Godard’s most influential and commercially successful films came in the 1960s, including “Vivre Sa Vie”, “Pierrot le Fou”, “Two or Three Things I Know About Her” and “Weekend”.
He had more than 100 films to his name in which he switched from a leftist, anti-war politics ideology to a more commercial mainstream.