Jean-Luc Godard (born 1930) may be one of cinema’s greatest names, but his films remain consistently abstruse and unseen by mainstream audiences.
Jean-Luc Godard was a French movie critic who became one of the major filmmakers of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) cinema, a 1960s movement that stressed experimental techniques and film as art. He became internationally known after his first feature film, Breathless (1960, Ábout de souffle), and continued to garner critical success (if not big box office returns) in the 1960s, with films such as Contempt (1963, Le Mépris, starring Brigitte Bardot), Band of Outsiders (1964, Bande á part), Masculine-Feminine (1966, Masculin, féminin) and Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967, 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle). He earned a reputation by the 1970s as a serious, furiously political practitioner of the art of cinema. He has also stirred up his share of controversy, such as when the Catholic church urged a boycott of his 1986 film Hail Mary, (Je vous salue, Marie) a contemporary treatment of the story of the biblical Mary. Over the years Godard’s existentialist Marxism lost the luster it once had, but his work of the 1960s is still considered part of the canon of great cinema.