Jean-Luc Godard is a French cinematographer, screenwriter, and director who is mostly Identified with New Wave, the French film movement that originated in the '60s. New Wave was all about opposing the mainstream French cinema of the time as its supporters were more concerned with keeping its past cinematic values and less about new directors' experimentations. Opposed to this, the fellow directors from the New Wave movement began making their own films, challenging the approach of old Hollywood and bringing a unique style of expression to the big screens.
Because of Godard's creative approach to his political and philosophical views, he will be remembered as one of the most influential directors of New Wave. This is important because it paved the way for the creativity and freedom of independent directors to make it into the big leagues.
In honor of Godard's 86th birthday, Dec. 3, let this list of five of his best films take you through the mind of the legendary French director.
It's a film that is still seen as innovative today. it carried the embodiment of the new wave with its jump cuts and still dialogue and creates two poetic main characters in the way of eventual doom and let down.
Bande a Part (Band of Outsiders)
It remains a playful and light take on a crime narrative. He included his leading lady Anna Karina and creates a set of daft crooks who's demeanor makes them endearing. The structure of this film paves way for Godard's distinctive style.
Godard gives his characters adventurous characteristics this time using sci-fi. This film is very George Orwell. It centers itself around a dystopia where all population is outlawed from any human characteristic that's deemed illogical by a computerized system.
Le Mepris (Contempt)
This film became an exploration of people, art and commerce. His smart use of actors like Jack Parlance, sex symbol of her time Bridgette Bardot, use of consistent plot and along with the inclusion of "Dante's Inferno" allowed it to become one of his most loved and well-known films.
Pierrot Le Fou
In this film, Godard returns to creating movies about crimes and romance, something he drifted from around this same time period. He created a dark comedy with hidden corpses and runaway characters eluding hitmen who cannot stay still.