Tributes to Jean-Luc Godard, the pioneering leader of French cinema, began to flow immediately after it was revealed that the director had died today at the age of 91, and that figures in the world of cinema, politics and more remember the director for his powerful, one-off work.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, was one of the first to pay tribute to Godard with a short message on social media, stating that France had lost a “national treasure” and the director was the most “iconoclastic of New Wave filmmakers”.
A source close to Godard confirmed the director’s death to KristenBellTattoos.com after initial reports from French newspaper Liberation. Best known for his radical and politically motivated work, Godard was one of the most famous directors of his generation, producing classic films such as On the last breath (A bout de souffle)which brought him to the world stage in 1960.
Speaking to France Info radio shortly after the news broke, Jack Lang, a former French culture minister, said that Godard was “unique, absolutely unique … He was not just cinema, he was philosophy, poetry.”
Gilles Jacob, former president of the Cannes Film Festival, called Godard the “Picasso of the cinema” on social media Tuesday.
Godard received most recognition for his seminal work in the 1960s, including Little Soldier, which was banned until 1963, and the future wife of the director Anna Karina played the main role in it. Noting Godard’s radical and passionate approach to cinema, British director Edgar Wright said, “It was ironic that he himself revered the Hollywood studio system of filmmaking, as perhaps no other director has inspired so many people to just pick up a camera and start shooting. …”
The British Film Institute called Godard “a film giant who tore apart the rule book”.
“Starting with ‘Breathless’, he has been testing the limits of the medium,” the BFI said in a statement.
Read the full tributes below. We’ll be sharing other reactions as they come in…
Depuis sa 1ère apparition au Festival dans Cleo de 5 à 7 en 1962, 21 films by Jean-Luc Godard at Cannes. May 1968 Demonstration Agitator, 2014 Jury Prize, Farewell to Language, 2018 Palme d’Or Award for Son’s Creative Ensemble. pic.twitter.com/BfAdIPeSNt
— Cannes Film Festival (@Festival_Cannes) September 13, 2022
Jean-Luc Godard (1930-2022).
Farewell, movie giant who tore up the rule book. Starting with Breathless, he tested the limits of the medium. pic.twitter.com/B5rytLxTt8
— BFI (@BFI) September 13, 2022
“Le cinéma n’est pas à l’abri du temps. Il est l’abri du temps.”
Jean-Luc Godard, 1930–2022 pic.twitter.com/qHEpF1gqbQ
— Cinematheque (@cinemathequefr) September 13, 2022
The king is dead.
— asifkapadia (@asifkapadia) September 13, 2022
Ce fut comme une apparition dans le cinéma français. Puis il en devint un maître. Jean-Luc Godard, le plus iconoclaste des cinéastes de la Nouvelle Vague, avait inventé un art résolument moderne, intensément libre. Nous perdons un trésor national, excluding the genie. pic.twitter.com/bQneeqp8on
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 13, 2022
Jean-Luc Godard, c’est le Picasso du cinéma. Avec ses intuition et ses fulgurances. En avance sur son temps, Il a joué avec les mots les images les sons les couleurs. Il improvisait des film-jalons, obscurs et séduisants. Le cinema mondial est orphelin.
— Gilles Jacob (@jajacobbi) September 13, 2022
RIP Jean-Luc Godard, one of the most influential iconoclastic filmmakers of all. Ironically, he himself bowed to the Hollywood studio system of filmmaking, because perhaps no other director has inspired so many people to just pick up a camera and start shooting … pic.twitter.com/KFOnnQ1H6n
— Edgarwright (@edgarwright) September 13, 2022
GODARD EST MORT… En l’instant, pas d’autres mots, pensées, on ne peut y croire, il nous semblait éternel… pic.twitter.com/tl3VikiMvo
— CarlottaFilms (@CarlottaFilms) September 13, 2022