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Jean-Luc Godard Shares Details of New Film, a Yellow-Vest Drama

His follow-up to "The Image Book" may be more conventional.

French-swiss Director Jean-luc Godard Receives the the Leenards Foundation Cultural Prize As He Attends the Award Ceremony of the 'Prix Et Bourses Culturels Leenaards 2013' in Lausanne Switzerland 13 November 2013 Switzerland Schweiz Suisse LausanneSwitzerland Culture - Nov 2013

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Christophe Bott/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

Jean-Luc Godard has revealed details of his follow-up to “The Image Book,” which saw the French New Wave luminary take his experimental approach in bold new directions. Though his next project doesn’t yet have a title, it does have a narrative: “It will tell the story of a Yellow Vest woman who breaks up with her boyfriend,” Godard told Les Inrockuptibles (with a translation assist from the New Yorker’s Richard Brody, author of the essential “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard”). “The theme is inspired by Racine’s Bérénice. The character brings to mind Bérénice when Titus comes back to the State.”

“It won’t be made just of what you call archival images. There will also be a shoot. I don’t know whether I’ll find what one calls actors. I’d like to film the people one sees on news channels but plunging them into a situation where documentary and fiction blend,” Godard added.

He continued, “I don’t know whether they’ll agree to be filmed in relation to themselves, both in their professional situation and in invented situations. In any case, I have a list. For instance, there’s Natacha Polony. She’s good. But I’d only be interested in filming her if she’d agree to be seen in a moment of fiction.”

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Godard has had a career unlike any other, beginning as a critic so dissatisfied with the “Tradition of Quality” in French cinema that he began making films of his own. The first of those, “Breathless,” remains his best-known and most revered, though his list of classics is long indeed: “Contempt,” “A Woman Is a Woman,” “Pierrot le fou,” “Week-end,” and others are among the most celebrated of their era.

In recent years he has tended toward an essay-film aesthetic exemplified by “Film Socialisme” and “Goodbye to Language,” alienating some but impressing others who laud his refusal to adhere to convention. No word yet on when his untitled new film will begin production.

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