When we hear the name of Jean-Luc Godardwe all quickly imagine the mystery man with glasses Ray-Ban and a constantly lit cigarette between the lips. But as a pioneer of the New wave French, Godard revolutionized the world of cinema with his first feature film A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) in 1959, and then rose to fame abroad with films starring big names like Jean-Paul Belmondo y Brigitte Bardot
But before reaching the top of success and the truth that distinguishes him so much, Jean-Luc Godard, Born December 3, 1930, he spent his formative years on the Swiss side of the lake Leman, where his father ran a clinic. His higher education consisted of studies for a BA in Ethnology at the University of Paris which was accompanied by endless conversations in student cafes and a job at a dam, which inspired his first short film, Concrete operationOf 1954.
Living the warlike conflicts in his country, the young man was struck with a text called Sketch of a film psychology, by the French novelist André Malraux, which made him reflect on the role of cinema in society. When the war ceased, Godard returned to France where he became interested in painting and anthropology, one that came from the influence of the anthropologist Jean Roche, who became the first practitioner and theorist of documentary film true cinema ("Cinema of truth").
Made part of this school of filmmakers who used to employ light television crews to observe their subject with the utmost informality and so completely without preconceived prejudices that the subject and motifs of the film emerge only during filming or even later, on stage. of montage, Godard began to develop his style, one that would become an incalculable influence on modern cinema that refuses to wane.
For 1960 came his groundbreaking 1960 debut feature film, Breathless, where he fused elements of high and low culture with an abandonment of everything that laid the foundation for generations of filmmakers, ushering in an explosively innovative decade in which his production became increasingly radical, both aesthetically and politically, until 1968, when he completely renounced commercial cinema, forming a left-wing film collective, the Dziga Vertov Group, with whom he produced films with a scathing anti-capitalist rule.
Eternally at the forefront and for the rest of his career, Godard explored the most extreme possibilities of digital cinema in visually and philosophically adventurous works such as Goodbye to Language y The Image Book, confirming his status as the greatest lyricist on historical trauma, religion and the legacy of cinema.
In his wake, Jean-Luc also never wooed Hollywood, because despite the huge footprint who left his films and scripts, he never received a single nomination for Oscar.
Fittingly, at the height of his international fame, when now the big studios did turn him around, he ignored the siren's song and turned down the opportunity to lead Warren Beatty en Bonnie and Clyde, revealing just one of many paradoxes in Godard's multi-decade, 70-film career, where he chose to employ accessible aesthetics to subvert convention and comment on the downsides of capitalism and its influence on social decay.
To date, it is impossible to see the movies of Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin ScorseseSteven Soderbergh Quentin Tarantino and fairer without remembering the masterpieces of the native of Paris, where they highlight Contempt, Alphaville, Band of Outsiders y King Lear.
Already with a wide career behind him, Godard mentioned that he had come to know so much about cinema that he could only define it as a mystery, and precisely that makes us think that, perhaps, Godard is not the cinema itself, but it could be the human being who is closest to achieving it. But yes, if you have to define Jean-Luc Godard, it can also be said that he too is a mystery.
In the end, for the French director, "cinema is true 24 times a second", which is why he did not consider it an escape, an entertainment or a fantasy, but as the best way to truly know reality.
In a survey of Sight & Sound In 2002, Godard was ranked third in the top ten critical directors of all time. He is said to have "created one of the greatest bodies of critical analysis of any filmmaker since the mid-twentieth century, while for many, he and his work have been central to narrative theory and have" challenged both the norms of commercial narrative filmmaking and filmmaking. those of the cinema as well as the vocabulary of criticism.
Despite not getting yet more premieres, Jean-Luc's legacy of the living legend continues there for those seeking to be enchanted.