Born in Paris (France), 1930
Lives & works in Paris (France)
Very active in: 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, Current decade

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Born to a Franco-Swiss family in 1930, Jean Luc-Godard is a director that challenged the stylistic conventions of Hollywood as well as the common means of feature production, distribution and exhibition.

After living in Switzerland for some years, Godard returned to Paris in 1948, just to be contemporary of the famous Latin Quarter ciné-clubs rebirth. Godard began attending this clubs where he soon met the man who was perhaps most responsible for the genesis of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave), André Bazin, as well as Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut, Jacques Rozier and Jacques Demy.

In 1950, along with Rivette and Rohmer, Godard founded the "Gazette du Cinéma", which published five issues between May and November. He wrote a number of articles for the journal, often using the pseudonym 'Hans Lucas'. After working on and financing two films by Rivette and Rohmer, Godard's family cut off their financial support in 1951, and he resorted to a bohemian lifestyle that included stealing food and money when necessary. In January 1952 he began writing film criticism for 'Les Cahiers du Cinéma' and in the following year he returned to Paris briefly before acquiring a job as a construction worker on a dam project in Switzerland. In 1954, with the money earned, he made a short film on the construction of the dam: "_Opération béton_" (_Operation concrete_).

In 1959, Jean Luc-Godard directed his first feature, "A Bout de Souffle" (Breathless), after the short films "Charlotte et son Jules" (Charlotte and Her Jules, 1958) and "Une Histoire d'eau" (A History of Water, 1958). This feature, with Claude Chabrol as artistic supervisor, was made on a shoe-string budget and was somehow a revival of the typical B-feature crime plot with hand-held camera and natural lighting. Both critics and audience welcomed the movie that made Jean-Paul Belmondo a star, besides being Godard's only box office success. Later Godard would say that this was not the film he had in mind as he wanted to make a realistic film.

The mid 60s was one of Godard's most fertile periods as his aesthetic strategies became more and more daring. Each film was posing a particular question for which the director had to find an answer. The most important thing during this period was the abandon of a unitary fiction. "Alphaville" and "Pierre le Fou" are the last Godard films that tell a story. From "2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle" (Two or Three Things I Know about Her), in 1966, and "La Chinoise", the following year, the story line is so thin as to be virtually non-existent. Narrative gets replaced by digressions.

Godard has been living in Switzerland for the last 20 years. Fascinated with developments in new media, he has experimented with video, making several works on commission for clients including Channel 4, France Telecom and UNICEF. Amongst his 'revolutionary films for revolutionary people' is his highly regarded eight-hour history of cinema, recently edited into a 90 minute version.

The artist that said that "Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second" has influenced filmamakers as diverse as Robert Altman, Martin Scorscese, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino.

Besides regular cinemas, from 1946 on there was a reawakening of the ciné-clubs spirit, as well as a culture of little magazines, kept going by the enthusiasm of writers more than readers. At this period, the leading figures in French intellectual life were fascinated by cinema (except for Albert Camus, who had no interest in films). At the same time, the most important directors of the 30s such as Renoir, Clair, Duvivier, Ophuls had fled to the US, and emerging talents during the occupation like Clouzot or Clément seemed uncertain on what direction to take. During this period, more precisely for five years since the fall of France in 1940, no US films had been imported except for a few smuggled from Spain or other neutral countries. Several hundred other films were awaiting the signature of an agreement between the French and US governments to allow the movies to enter France. This was signed in May 1946 and the flux began.

The advent of American cinema was also an object of political contention, as it was perceived by many on the left as a threat to French culture as well as a weapon in the Cold War. It's interesting to see that as the Cold War intensified so did the split in French film culture. The left seized control of the film magazine "L'Ecran Français", driving out André Bazin, a left-inclined Catholic who had tried everything to maintain bridges between different tendencies. Besides writings by Bazin, "L'Ecran Français" had also published in 1948 the famous article 'Birth of a new avant-garde: the Caméra-Stylo' in which the critic and filmmaker Alexandre Astruc foresaw the emergence of a cinema that would be a 'means of writing as flexible and as subtle as written language'. Years later, Doniol-Valcroze and his friend Léonard Keigel founded a brand-new magazine named "Cahiers du Cinéma", the first issue of which came out in April 1951.

Some of the most famous directors of the Nouvelle Vague, like Chabrol, Rohmer, Rivette and Godard, began their work in cinema not as directors but as critics in the "Cahiers du Cinema", this meaning that they laid the groundwork for a group of concepts that would later be coined as ?la politique des auteurs? (theory of authors). The theory's main idea was that the directors should be the primary and shaping force behind any film, having the ability to reveal personal visions or world views in their works. This would mean a personal signature perceptible from film to film, an individual presence that had not been restrained because of any outside conditions such as budgetary constraints.

In its theoretical principles, the Nouvelle Vague movement guided itself by the belief that realism is the essence of cinema, this explaining the manifesto claim for long, deep-focus shots that embodied a more complete scene, where visual information could be transmitted consistently, and avoided unnecessary editing not to disrupt the illusion of reality by constant cuts.

Social and economic factors played a role as well in the movement's emergence. After the war, France was politically and financially ruined, which led the country to fall back to old popular traditions before the conflict, such as the classical French film with its concern for straight narrative, creating what Godard described as an oppressive and deterministic aesthetic of plot. In contrast, Nouvelle Vague filmmakers intended to remind the audience that a film was a sequence of moving images, this resulting in a set of disconnected scenes that did not aim at unity. The critics writing in the Cahiers made it clear that this would be the only way to force the audience not to be submitted to some kind of plot-line dictatorship.

These factors were important to the development of a whole new form of using artist's energies to produce films that were quite innovative at the time. The low-budget approach allowed filmmakers to focus on alternative forms of production, very different from the conventional Hollywood products. The result would be Roger Vadim's "Et Dieu... créa la femme" (And God... Created Woman), in 1956, Louis Malle's "Ascenseur pour l'échafaud" (Lift to the Scaffold) two years later, culminating in Godard's "A Bout de Soufle" (Breathless) as the formal announcement of a nouvelle vague of young filmmakers on the French cinema culture.

- Opération béton (Operation Concrete) (1954) short
- Une Femme coquette (A Coquettish Woman) (1955) short
- Tous les garçons s'appellent Patrick (All the Boys Are Called Patrick) (1957) short
- Une Histoire d'eau (A History of Water) (1958) co-directed with François Truffaut; short
- Charlotte et son Jules (Charlotte and Her Jules) (1958) short
- À Bout de souffle (Breathless) (1959)
- Le Petit soldat (The Little Soldier) (1960)
- Une Femme est une femme (A Woman Is a Woman) (1961)
- La Paresse (Sloth) (1961) sketch, from Les Sept Péchés capitaux (The Seven Capital Sins)
- Vivre sa vie (To Live One's Life / My Life to Live) (1962)
- Le Nouveau monde (The New World) (1962) sketch, from RoGoPaG
- Les Carabiniers (The Riflemen) (1963)
- Le Grand escroc (The Big Swindler) (1963) sketch, from Les Plus Belles Escroqueries du monde (The Most Beautiful Scams in the World)
- Le Mépris (Contempt) (1963)
- Reportage sur Orly (Reporting on Orly) (1964) short
- Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) (1964)
- Une Femme mariée (A Married Woman) (1964)
- Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Alphaville, A Strange Case of Lemmy Caution) (1965)
- Montparnasse-Levallois (1965) sketch, from Paris vu par... (Paris as Seen by... / Six in Paris)
- Pierrot le fou (Pierrot the Mad) (1965)
- Masculin féminin (Masculine Feminine) (1966)
- Made in U.S.A. (1966)
- Deux out trois choses que je sais d'elle (Two or Three Things I Know About Her) (1966)
- Anticipation, ou: l'amour en l'an 2000 (Anticipation, or: Love in the Year 2000) (1967) sketch, from Le Plus Vieux Métier du monde (The World's Oldest Profession)
- Caméra-oeil (Camera-Eye) (1967) sketch, from Loin du Viêt-nam (Far from Vietnam)
- La Chinoise, ou: plutôt à la Chinoise (The "Chinese," or: Something Like the Chinese) (1967)
- L'Aller et retour des enfants prodigues (The Departure and Return of the Prodigal Children) (1967) sketch, from Amore e rabbia / Vangelo 70 (Love and Anger / Vangelo 70)
- Week-End (1967)
- Le Gai savoir (The Joy of Knowledge) (1968)
- Ciné-tracts (Cine-Tracts) (1968) short films, directed anonymously with Alain Resnais and Chris Marker
- Un Film comme les autres (A Film Like the Others) (1968) as Dziga-Vertov Group
- One Plus One (1968)
- One American Movie (One A.M.) (1968) unfinished; incorporated into One P.M. (One Parallel Movie) by D. A. Pennebaker (1971)
- Communications (1969) unfinished
- British Sounds (See You at Mao) (1969) co-directed with Jean-Henri Roger
- Pravda (Truth) (1969) as Dziga-Vertov Group
- Le Vent d'est (Wind from the East) (1969) as Dziga-Vertov Group
- Luttes en Italie (Struggles in Italy) (1969) as Dziga-Vertov Group
- Jusqu'à la victoire (Until Victory) (1970) as Dziga-Vertov Group; unfinished
- Vladimir et Rosa (Vladimir and Rosa) (1971) as Dziga-Vertov Group
- Tout va bien (Everything's Going Fine) (1972) co-directed with Jean-Pierre Gorin
- Lettre à Jane (Letter to Jane) (1972) co-directed with Jean-Pierre Gorin
- Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere) (1974) ? co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville; incorporates footage from the unfinished Jusqu'à la Victoire (Until Victory) (1970)
- Numéro deux (Number Two) (1975)
- Comment ça va? (How's It Going?) (1976) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville
- Six fois deux / Sur et sous la communication (Six Times Two / On and Beneath Communication) (1976) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville; television series:
1A / 1B: Y a personne / Louison (1A / 1B: Somebody's There / Louison)
2A / 2B: Leçons des choses / Jean-Luc (2A / 2B: Lessons About Things / Jean-Luc)
3A / 3B: Photos et cie / Marcel (3A / 3B: Photos and Company / Marcel)
4A / 4B: Pas d'histoire / Nanas (4A / 4B: No History / Nanas)
5A / 5B: Nous trois / René(e)s (5A / 5B: We Three / René(e)s)
6A / 6B: Avant et après / Jacqueline et Ludovic (6A / 6B: Before and After / Jacqueline and Ludovic)
- France / tour / détour / deux / enfants (France / Tour / Detour / Two / Children) (1977-78) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville; television series:
Obscur / Chimie (Dark / Chemistry)
Lumière / Physique (Light / Physics)
Connu / Géométrie / Géographie (Known / Geometry / Geography)
Inconnu / Technique (Unknown / Technique)
Impression / Dictée (Impression / Dictation)
Expression / Français (Expression / French)
Violence / Grammaire (Violence / Grammar)
Désordre / Calcul (Disorder / Calculus)
Pouvoir / Musique (Potential / Music)
Roman / Économie (Romance / Economy)
Réalité / Logique (Reality / Logic)
Rêve / Morale (Dream / Morale)
- Scénario de Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Scenario for Every Man for Himself (Life) [US] / Slow Motion [UK]) (1979) video short
- Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself (Life) [US] / Slow Motion [UK]) (1979)
- Lettre à Freddy Buache (Letter to Freddy Buache) (1981) short video (transferred to 35mm)
- Changer d'image (To Alter the Image) (1982) segment in Le Changement a plus d'un titre (Change Has More Than One Title)
- Passion (Passion) (1982)
- Scénario du film Passion (Scenario for the Film Passion) (1982)
- Prénom Carmen (First Name Carmen) (1983)
- Petites notes à propos du film Je vous salue Marie (Small Notes About the Film I Salute Thee Marie / Hail Mary) (1983) video short
- Je vous salue Marie (I Salute Thee Marie / Hail Mary) (1985)
- Détective (1985)
- Grandeur et décadence d'un petit commerce du cinéma (Grandeur and Decadence of a Small Cinematic Trade) (1986) ?Série noire? television
- Soft and Hard (A Soft Conversation Between Two Friends on a Hard Subject) (1986)
- Meetin' WA (1986) video short
- Armide (1987) sketch, from Aria??King Lear (1987)
- Soigne ta droite, ou: une place sur la terre comme au ciel (Keep Your Right Up, or: A Place on the Earth as in Heaven) (1987)
- On s'est tous défilé (We Have All Defiled Ourselves) (1988) video short
- Closed (1988) commercials for Marithé and François Girbaud Jeans
- La Puissance de la parole (The Power of Speech) (1988) video short
- Le Dernier mot / Les Français entendus par... (The Last Word / The French as Understood by...) (1988) segment from Les Français vus par... (The French as Seen by...)
- Histoire(s) du cinéma (History(s) of the Cinema) (1988-98):
1A: Toutes les Histoire(s) (All the History(s))
1B: Une Histoire seule (A Single History)
2A: Seul le cinéma (Only the Cinema)
2B: Fatale beauté (Fatal Beauty)
3A: La Monnaie de l'absolu (The Currency of the Absolute)
3B: Une Vague nouvelle (A Vague Novel / A New Wave)
4A: Le Contrôle de l'univers (Control of the Universe)
4B: Les Signes parmi nous (The Signs Among Us)
- Le Rapport Darty (The Darty Report) (1989) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville
- Nouvelle vague (New Wave) (1990)
- L'Enfance de l'art (The Infancy of Art) (1990) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville; sketch, from Comment vont les enfants? (How Are the Kids?)
- Allemagne année 90 neuf zéro (Germany Year 90 Nine Zero) (1991)
- Pour Thomas Wainggai (For Thomas Wainggai) (1991) sketch, from Contre l'Oubli (Against Oblivion / Lest We Forget)
- Hélas pour moi (Alas for Me / Woe Is Me) (1993)
- Les Enfants jouent à la russie (The Kids Play Russian) (1993)
- JLG/JLG: Autoportrait de décembre (JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December) (1994)
- Je vous salue Sarajevo (I Salute Thee Sarajevo) (1994) video short
- 2 x 50 Ans du cinéma français (2 x 50 Years of French Cinema) (1995)
- Adieu au TNS (Farewell to the TNS) (1996) short film
- Plus Haut (Higher) (1996) music video for France Gall
- For Ever Mozart (1996)??The Old Place (1998) co-directed with Anne-Marie Miéville
- L'Origine du XXIème siècle (The Origin of the XXIst Century) (2000) video short
- Éloge de l'amour (Elegy for Love / In Praise of Love) (2001)
- Dans la noir du temps (In the Blackness of Time) (2002) sketch, for Ten Minutes Older: The Cello
- Liberté et patrie (Liberty and Country) (2002) short film
- Notre musique (Our Music) (2004)
- Moments choisis des Histoire(s) du cinéma (2004)
- Vrai faux passeport (True false passport), (2006)
- Prières pour refuzniks: 1 (Prayers for Refuseniks: 1) (2006)
- Prières pour refuzniks: 2 (Prayers for Refuseniks: 2) (2006)