When Jean-Luc Godard, exemplary director of the French New Wave, wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Among the greatest cinematic innovations, Godard’s films straddle the line between fiction and documentary, criticism and art. Similarly, his persona projects the shifting images of cultural hero, impassioned loner, and shrewd businessman. Indeed, Godard has entered the modern canon, a figure as mythologized as he is influential.
In Everything Is Cinema, critic Richard Brody draws on hundreds of interviews with Godard’s friends, family, and collaborators as well as on unseen footage to paint the fullest picture yet of the elusive director. Paying meticulous attention to intellectual and political currents, Brody traces an arc from Godard’s early critical writing, through his popular success with Breathless and Contempt, to the grand vision of his later years. Throughout this original interpretation, Brody argues that Godard’s work, life, and the zeitgeist are inseparable, and that the films are the product of a single obsessive quest to unify biography, creativity, and history.