Jean Luc Godard

Jean Luc Godard·,?-·,

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930. Godard?s father was a physician and his mother was related to a family of bankers (World Film Directors, 392). Godard attended school in Nyon, Switzerland. Godard became a naturalized citizen of Switzerland during World War II (WFD, 392).

In the late 1940?s Godard returned to Paris to study at the Lycee Buffon and at Sorbonne. He later received a certificate in ethnology (WFD, 392). While studying in Paris Godard became very interested in cinema, he hung out at local cinema places, such as Cinematheque Francaise(British Film Institute). This is where he met some of the future up and coming New Wave directors like himself. Among these future directors were Bazin, Truffaut, and Rohmer (WFD, 392). Many of these guys were critics of the cinema at this time and that is what Godard began to do also. Rohmer, Rivette and Godard started the Gazette du Cinema around 1950.

In 1951 Godard?s family cut off their financial support after funding a couple of his unsuccessful projects (Foreign Films, 1). Godard was forced to stealing food in order to survive (Godard Experience, 1). From 1952 to 1954 Godard wrote Cahiers du Cinema under the name Hans Lucas (WFD, 392). In 1954 his mother passed away and he got a job as a laborer on the Grand Dixence Dam. He did his first film shortly after, which was Operation Beton, which was a documentary of the building of the dam (Foreign films). The company that built the dam went on to buy the film, which marks Godard first real success as a filmmaker. Godard went on to direct numerous movies. His most famous is probably Breathless. In this film Godard set out to break all of the molds that had previously been made for films.

This is probably the beginning of the French New-Wave. Godard set out to show that anything goes. Godard did not want to use the cinema as a substitute for the real world like many other directors tried to do. Godard wanted it to be the real world. He wanted to make things appear as if it were the real world, and did so quite well. Godard helped to shape the world of cinema that many people know today. A lot of influences from his cinematic techniques, camera movements and lighting have help to shape the way some things are still shot today. -H

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