Is Jean Luc Godard the greatest filmmaker of all time?

Jean Luc-Godard was the spearhead of the French new wave cinema. He directed films such as breathless, Vivre-sa vie which defied the laws that set the film making precedence and introduced jump cuts. Post world war 2, USA decided to forego the WW2 debt if France opened its market for US products and regulated its own film industry. In defiance, new directors such as Varda, Godard, Rivette brought some fabulous work on the table.

Jean Luc-Godard is the greatest filmmaker of all time

Anyone who challenges the status quo can be termed a pioneer and the fact that Jean-Luc, a director from war tattered France stood up against already established US film industry, makes him great.

He unmasked the social reality by deviating from standard film-making techniques

Jean Luc Godard used age-old film making techniques in a new light to set himself apart from the "Hollywood" standard of acceptable films. He brought forth the truth that lies at the heart of society.

Breaking the fourth wall aids the objective viewing of Marxist Structures

Godard’s cinema, much like Brecht’s Epic theatre, breaks the fourth wall. It creates a platform for the viewers to recognize, comprehend and analyze the Marxist structures around them, stripped of its illusions.

Jean Luc-Godard was not the greatest but is the most prolific filmmaker of all time

There will always be great directors in the film industry. Not one can be termed greatest as only one can't tap into the human emotions which sometimes are very endemic to a particular geography.

The greatness of Godard’s films is subject to its critical interpretation

The roots of Godard’s greatness lies in his sheer bravado to embrace and put on display what seemed real to him in a way that was devoid of any illusions. His perception of reality inspired him and made him the influential figure he is today. But the interpretation of his films and success depends upon the lens with which one views him.

Godard's controversial political ideas make him a problematic figure

His stance on political topics makes him a controversial figure. The common knowledge of Godard being allegedly anti-Jewish casts a shadow on his professional career. Moreover, his sympathetic attitude towards Germany for its role in World War II often causes him to lash out at the one-sided portrayals of the Holocaust by Hollywood.

We can't know if Jean Luc-Godard was the greatest filmmaker of all time

Art is subjective in nature. It has open ends and it has space where people can make mistakes and learn. Some people might like Godard, Kurosawa, Majid, Hallstrom, Bergman, etc. but there are others who like the ones who produce films for mass consumption.

The ability to appreciate Godard is one which is acquired and cultivated

Godard’s films are open to multiple interpretations which may be based on individual circumstantial realities. These realities are an accumulation of experiences not just of the formative years but also those gathered throughout life.
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This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 10:10 UTC