The last living French New Wave director wants to teach you something new.
Despite being 89 years old, film scholar David Bordwell called Jean-Luc Godard "the youngest filmmaker at work today." However, this young man still has a lot to learn about filmmaking. Godard has spent the better part of his entire adult life reinventing cinema one movie at a time. He's been part of different waves—most famously the French New Wave, tried his hand at multiple genres, and left his lasting mark on cinema history with films like Breathless, Pierrot le fou, and Bande à part.
Now, he wants to use his collected wisdom to teach you something.
Lionel Baier, the head of the cinema department at Lausanne's ECAL University of Art and Design, interviewed Godard via Instagram Live. What begins as a discussion of Godard's news-watching habits turns into a journey across such subjects as filmmaking, writing, painting, philosophy, science, medicine, law, and language. "I don't believe in language...What needs to be changed is the alphabet. There are too many letters and we should delete lots of them."
Yeah, it's an amazing time.
Watch the entire discussion below.
Godard was about to begin a new project when the pandemic broke out. He explained, "In the film I'm going to make, I ask what Niépce believed he was doing or what his intentions were when he simply wanted to copy reality."
As a filmmaker, Godard's main concern over his career has been realism, so where does COVID-19 play into the world he wants to communicate? "It'll have an influence but not directly," he says. "The virus should definitely be talked about once or twice. With everything that comes with it, the virus is a form of communication. It doesn't mean we're going to die from it, but we might not live very well with it either."
It will be interesting to see how Hollywood talks about coronavirus in upcoming projects and also a treat to hear how a master plans to use it as creative inspiration.
What are your favorite parts of the discussion? Let us know in the comments!