Lifetime Achievement Award

Jean-Luc Godard
Lifetime Achievement Award - 2020

Jean-Luc Godard’s career has spanned over half a century with the one constant in his work being that each new movie is primarily a study of form in relation to an idea. The forms evolved and the ideas changed, but his exploration of the relatedness of the two remained the same.
Born in Paris in 1930 and raised in Switzerland, Godard studied ethnology at the Sorbonne but reportedly spent more time in movie theaters than in class. He began to write about the films he saw in Cahiers du Cinema and formed alliances with artists who would become the nucleus of the French New Wave. Though loosely modeled after Hollywood gangster pictures, Godard’s debut feature Breathless (1960) challenged cinematic conventions and stunned critics, filmmakers and audiences alike with its improvisational style, impulsive handheld camerawork and intentional jump-cuts. As this iconoclastic film took the world by storm, its director became a leading spokesman for the New Wave. Throughout the sixties, Godard’s work became more radical, both in form (A Woman Is a Woman, 1961; Contempt, 1963; Band of Outsiders, 1964; Alphaville, 1965) and in content (Pierrot le fou, 1965; Masculin féminin, 1966; Two or Three Things I Know about Her, 1967; Weekend, 1967) until finally in 1968, following the events of May, he abandoned the framework of commercial filmmaking entirely. Along with Jean-Pierre Gorin, he formed a leftist filmmaking collective dubbed the Dziga Vertov Group. They made ‘cinetracts’ – films outlining the group’s beliefs such as Vladimir and Rosa (1970), Tout va bien (1972) and Letter to Jane (1972). The Dziga Vertov Group dissolved in the early seventies.
Godard’s subsequent work maintained his careerlong commitment to the symbiotic tension between form and content as well as the ongoing duality of high and low art and sound and image. His later films are often marked with a formal beauty that belies the roiling tension within, for example: Passion (1982), Prénom Carmen (1983), Je vous salue, Marie, which was condemned by the Catholic Church for alleged heresy (1985), King Lear (1988), Germany Year 90 Nine Zero (1991) and For Ever Mozart (1996). In his ambitious eight-part documentary Histoire(s) du cinéma (completed in 1998), Godard examined no less than the totality of film as the great 20th-century art form. Godard’s film Film Socialisme, debuted at Cannes. Since then, besides short films in multi-director anthology films and other video work, he has directed two feature length avant-garde essay films Goodbye to Language (2014) and The Image Book (2018).

Fernando Solanas awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award of 24th IFFK by Hon'ble Chief Minister Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan

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