Jean-Luc Godard: His Life to Live

“In the October 1950 Issue of La Gazette du cinema, a young Jean-Luc Godard, writing pseudonymously, penned a sentence that serves, for biographer Richard Brody, as a skeleton key to the legendary director’s often-inscrutable inner workings: ‘At the cinema, we do not think, we are thought.’ Brody, a film critic and editor at the New Yorker, uses this key throughout his rigorous yet readable biographical study, as dauntingly massive as it is helpfully clarifying, to unlock the intensely personal and political influences that shaped the work of an artist as pivotal to the evolution of his chosen medium as Picasso and Bob Dylan were to theirs. Like Picasso, Godard is an artist of many phases, each with enough revolutionary singularity to have sustained the reputation of any other director; like Dylan, he was a meteoric phenomenon of the 1960s who suffered a motorcycle accident and retreated to domestic isolation in the ’70s, then slowly returned to cultural prominence in the intervening years. For those who have seen only a fraction of the films, out of order, without any supplementary reading or cultural context, Everything Is Cinema is a revelatory, satisfying feast. What lingers is the realization that Godard, the ultimate auteur, whose oblique cinematic experiments pushed the medium forward and seemed aggressively, at times perversely, sui generis, is far more a receiver and a conductor than a generator—a deeply, often insecurely impressionable man who allowed the women and political currents in his life to inspire and guide his every artistic move. Godard enjoyed a pampered, upper-class childhood in Switzerland. As a boy, during the war, he listened to Vichy radio and rooted for the Nazi armies from the idyllic sanctuary of a neutral country, all under the influence of his right-wing, anti-Semitic maternal grandfather, Julien Monod. …”
ARTFORUM, amazon: Everything Is Cinema
Gallery: Jean-Luc Godard at work in the 1960s
Jean-Luc Godard on The Dick Cavett Show (Video)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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