Jean-Luc Godard (3 December 1930 – 13 September 2022) was a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter, and film critic who rose to prominence as a pioneer of the French New Wave film movement of the 1960s, alongside such filmmakers as François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Éric Rohmer, and Jacques Demy. He was arguably the most influential French filmmaker of the post-war era and his acclaimed films include ‘Breathless’ (1960), ‘Vivre sa vie’ (1962), ‘Contempt’ (1963), ‘Band of Outsiders’ (1964), ‘Alphaville’ (1965), ‘Pierrot le Fou’ (1965), ‘Masculin Féminin’ (1966), ‘Weekend’ (1967), and ‘Goodbye to Language’ (2014).
During his early career as a film critic for the influential magazine Cahiers du Cinéma, Godard criticised mainstream French cinema’s ‘Tradition of Quality’, which de-emphasised innovation and experimentation. In response, he and like-minded critics began to make their own films, challenging the conventions of traditional Hollywood in addition to French cinema. His work makes use of frequent homages and references to film history, and often expresses his political views.