Legendary French film director Jean-Luc Godard, who ushered in the revolutionary French New Wave of cinema, died at the age of 91 on Tuesday.
A statement released by his family mentioned that the director died peacefully at his home. “No official (funeral) ceremony will take place. He will be cremated,” the statement read.
Godard became famous in the 1960s with À bout de soufflé (Breathless), which started a run of films that influenced directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
A representative of the family read that the director died by assisted suicide in Switzerland. Expressing his regret, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Godard “had the vision of a genius”.
Paying his tributes, Marcron wrote on Twitter, “He was like an apparition in French cinema. Then he became a master of it. Jean-Luc Godard, the most iconoclastic of New Wave filmmakers, invented a resolutely modern, intensely free art. We have lost a national treasure, a man who had the vision of a genius.”
Godard’s legal advisor Patrick Jeanneret told AFP that the Franco-Swiss film-maker “had recourse to legal assistance in Switzerland for a voluntary departure as he was stricken with 'multiple invalidating illnesses', according to the medical report.”
It may be noted that assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland under some circumstances.
Godard had started as a film critic before taking his position behind the camera with his stylish and edgy Breathless. The camera was constantly moving with the editing swift and bold and the script semi-improvised.
The director had once said, “It was a film that took everything that cinema had done - girls, gangsters, cars - exploded all this and put an end, once and for all, to the old style.”