“Godard probably exists outside of comprehension”: the tribute of great directors

The Chinese filmmaker Diao Yinan, the Brazilian Kleber Mendoça Filho or the Lebanese Ghassan Salhab remember their encounter with the universe of Jean-Luc Godard, who died on Tuesday September 13, at the age of 91.

Diao Yinan: “Godard, or better the spirit of Godard, has always accompanied my creative work”

The director of black coal (2014) and wild goose lake (2019) is one of the greatest and most popular Chinese directors.

“I did not study in a film school, and the first course devoted to cinema did not begin with the classics of silent films. One autumn afternoon in 1987, our teacher showed us the VHS of a black and white film. This first lesson being always eagerly awaited, and having something mysterious about it, the professor had recourse to an object capable of making a strong impression on us, in order to establish from the outset the authority of his words. This movie was called Breathless, and I thought it was the most beautiful film in the world, beyond comparison with any of the films I had seen before. The montage of the images evoked the edge of a sharp-bladed sword, of relentless force. The story unfolded the world before our eyes while making the very existence of the film tangible… a significant form, showing a kind of dignity, a respect without vulgarity or complacency towards people and towards our world. Since then, Godard, or better the spirit of Godard, has always accompanied my creative work, and I think it is the spirit of freedom and idealism of the 1960s, which carries both the rebellious character and refractory side of youth, and the errors and confusions which may ensue. Godard’s cinema is unique, we admire and covet its vitality in order to escape flatness, wear and disuse ourselves. » Translated by Marie-Pierre Duhamel

Read also Director Jean-Luc Godard is dead

Takeshi Kitano: “Godard probably exists outside of understanding”

The Japanese is the creator of Violent Cop (1987), Hana bi (1997) and Kikujiro Summer (1999), in particular, films that propelled this filmmaker of poetic violence to the top of Japanese cinema.

“The first time I saw a Godard film was probably around 1968, because I remember that I was strolling through the city after entering university. At that time, instead of going to college, I worked in a jazz club or sometimes participated in student demonstrations without quite understanding what was going on, I just wanted to please the girls. It was Breathless. I knew the title and I entered the cinema unexpectedly. It was a real shock for me, because I only knew films whose narrative was chronological, like those of Akira Kurosawa, which have a regular narrative construction. While this one moves so freely through the story, with such a fresh sense of cinematic fit. This movie belongs to the rogue movie genre, and it helped me get into it easily.

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