A celebration of the life and career of one of cinema’s great disruptors.
ACMI celebrates iconoclastic French-Swiss auteur, Jean-Luc Godard, who died in September at the age of 91, with a compact season of films from Godard’s career-defining French New Wave period in the early to mid-1960s – from his breakout 1960 film Breathless (A bout de souffle), to Masculin Féminin in 1966, a year that marked a transition point in Godard’s career. Having deconstructed traditional cinema style and reinvigorated it by way of American crime genres, overlaying it with his own mercurial blend of satire and melancholy, Godard followed this prolific period with increasingly polemical works that interrogated consumer culture, social mores and political ideology while keeping one foot firmly in the zeitgeist – 1968’s The Rolling Stones: Sympathy for the Devil and 1972’s Tout va bien (with Jane Fonda), key among these.
Godard’s intellectual and philosophical explorations of aesthetics and culture continued in relative seclusion in the later decades of his life, rewarding devotees with uncompromising, richly rewarding works including Film Socialisme (2010), Goodbye to Language (2014) in 3D and The Image Book (2018) in the second decade of the 21st Century alone.
A singular figure in the history and evolution of cinema, Godard’s films of the early to mid-1960s are an ideal entry point from which to revisit a legacy that will endure as long as Cinema is spoken of as an art form.