“Still the single most influential artist to take cinema as his medium ... No film artist who has ever lived would be more justified than Jean-Luc Godard in thinking: Le cinéma c’est moi.”J. HOBERMAN,NEW YORK TIMES
Since the 1960's French New Wave, of which Jean-Luc Godard was a pre-eminent emissary, French cinema has never been the same again. The wave, preceded by Godard and his friends (Truffaut, Chabrol, Rivette, Resnais, Marker, Varda, critics at "Les Cahiers du Cinéma") broke the dikes of film conservatism and "put a mess in the French cinema" that "made everything possible" (François Truffaut). Godard reinvented the theory of cinema: cinema is not about showing a false truth, a convincing illusion anymore, but a cinematic reality so powerful that it is suficient to itself. Godard also reinvented the way to tell a story, creating original bonds with the spectator trough the use of the mise en abîme, playing with the time of the plot and distancing himself from scenarios that were at this time too close to literature. But if Jean-Luc Godard is well-known for being a talented and an avant-garde artist, he also is an extremly lucid witness of his time, particularly during the 1960's. He was an insighful observer of the "Glorious Thirty", of the women's liberation movement and he even foresaw the student unrest of May 1968.
As one of the inventors of modern cinema, Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time ( who deeply influenced Lars Von Trier's Dogma 95, Quentin Tarantino, Leos Carax etc...) and he gave so much to cinema that the cinema(theque) is now eager to give back paying a tribute to that avant-gardist genius through the screening of his first 16 features, from 1959 to 1967.