Jean-Luc Godard  

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"With typically playful perversity, Godard uses nudity to serve as ideological statement, surrealist and "obscene" in its unexpected transposition of Freud with brain and Marx with sex. These two names also denote the true parameters of Godard's universe and his determination to destroy illusionism by introducing lettering into the visuals."--Film as a Subversive Art (1974) by Amos Vogel on an image, featured in the film Joy of Learning, of a woman lying spread-eagled on the beach with a Sigmund Freud-arrow pointing to her head and a Karl Marx-arrow pointing to her genitals, at the beginning of the section "The Attack on Puritanism: Nudity".

"Repetitions of the same clumsy stupidities in his films are automatically seen as breathtaking innovations. They are beyond any attempt at explanation; his admirers consume them as confusedly and arbitrarily as Godard produced them, because they recognize in them the consistent expression of a subjectivity. This is true, but it is a subjectivity on the level of a concierge educated by the mass media. Godard’s “critiques” never go beyond the innocuous humor typical of nightclub comedians or Mad magazine. His flaunted culture is largely the same as that of his audience, which has read exactly the same pages in the same drugstore paperbacks." --Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966)

"... it is harldy surprising that [Godard] was dismissed as an imbecile by many of those from the avant-garde milieus connected to lettrism. [...] The ardour of Guy Debord and his associates on the subject of Godard stems directly from the fact that Jean-Luc was providing the bourgeoisie with a middlebrow commercialization of avant-garde cinema. Indeed, the invocation of the penal code during the discussion of prostitution in Vivre sa vie recalls Debord's similar use of material on the soundtrack of his 1953 feature length anti-classic Screams in Favour of de Sade." --Summer of Love: Psychedelic Art, Social Crisis and Counterculture in the 1960s

"Contemporary use of the jump cut stems from its appearance in the work of Jean-Luc Godard and other filmmakers of the French New Wave of the late 1950s and 1960s. In Godard's ground-breaking Breathless (1960), for example, he cut together shots of Jean Seberg riding in a convertible (see right) in such a way that the discontinuity between shots is emphasized. In the screen shots above, the first image comes from the very end of one shot and the second is the very beginning of the next shot — thus emphasizing the gap in action between the two (when Seberg picked up the mirror)." --Sholem Stein

"British Sounds (1970) is an experimental film by Jean-Luc Godard, there is a scene with an extended close-up of a woman's pubis, precisely when the female voice-over says: "Marxists have always stressed, when they talk about the subordination of women, that it’s part of the total, mutual devouring process called capitalism. They’ve said that capitalism forces people to eat each other…""--Sholem Stein

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Jean-Luc Godard (born 3 December, 1930 in Paris) is a French filmmaker and one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague, or "French New Wave". Guy Debord dismissed him as an "offspring of Mao and Coca Cola". His best-known film is À bout de souffle.



Born to Franco-Swiss parents in Paris, he was educated in Nyon, Switzerland, later studying at the Lycée Rohmer, and the Sorbonne back to Paris. During his time at the Sorbonne, he became involved with the young group of filmmakers and film theorists that gave birth to the New Wave.

New Wave

Known for stylistic implementations that challenged, at their focus, the conventions of Hollywood cinema, he became universally recognized as the most audacious and radical of the New Wave filmmakers. He adopted a position in filmmaking that was unambiguously political. His work reflected a fervent knowledge of film history, a comprehensive understanding of existential and Marxist philosophy, and a scholarly disposition that placed him as the lone filmmaker among the public intellectuals of the Rive Gauche.

Directing Filmography

Early Works

French New Wave (1959 – 1967)

Feature Films

Short Films

  • 1961 "La Paresse" (Sloth)
from Les Sept péchés capitaux (The Seven Deadly Sins)
  • 1962 "Il Nuovo mondo" (The New World)
from RoGoPaG
  • 1963 "Le Grand escroc" (The Big Swindler)
from Les plus belles escroqueries du monde (The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers)
from Paris vu par... (Paris as Seen by...) — a.k.a. Six in Paris
  • 1967 "Anticipation, ou: l'amour en l'an 2000" (Anticipation: or Love in the Year 2000)
from Le Plus vieux métier du monde (The World's Oldest Profession)
  • 1967 "Caméra-oeil" (Camera-Eye)
from Loin du Vietnam (Far from Vietnam)
  • 1967 "L'amore (Andate e ritorno dei figli prodighi)" (Love: Departure and Return of the Prodigal Children)
from Amore e rabbia (Love and Anger)

Dziga Vertov Group/Political Films (1968 – 1972)

incorporated into One P.M. (One Parallel Movie/One Pennebaker Movie) by D. A. Pennebaker in 1971
incorporated into Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere) by Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville in 1974

Transitional Period (SonImage) (1974-1978)

Second Wave (1979-1988)

Feature Films

Short Films/Videos

from Le Changement a plus d'un titre (Change Has More Than One Title)
from Aria
from Les Français vus par... (The French as Seen by...)

1989 – Present: All Works

Film Segments

Year Film Segment Involvement
1990 Comment vont les enfants (a.k.a. How Are The Kids?) L'enfance de l'art (a.k.a. The Infancy of Art) Director
1991 Contre l'oubli (a.k.a. Lest We Forget) Pour Thomas Wainggai (a.k.a. For Thomas Wainggai) Director
2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Cello Dans le noir du temps (a.k.a. In The Blackness of Time) Director

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jean-Luc Godard" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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