Cannes Will Present Godard’s Final Work: A 20-Minute Trailer for a Movie That Doesn’t Exist

Jean-Luc Godard died in September 2022 before finishing "Drôles de Guerres (Phoney Wars)."
Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
Robert Eric/Getty

The 2023 Cannes Film Festival will pay tribute to late auteur Jean-Luc Godard with a special screening of “Drôles de Guerres (Phoney Wars)” as a highlight of the program.

Godard died at age 91 in September 2022, and this year’s Cannes will screen “Contempt” and documentary “Godard by Godard” to commemorate the filmmaker as part of the Cannes Classics lineup. Godard’s final project is a 20-minute trailer for “Drôles de Guerres (Phoney Wars),” a film he never finished.

Jean-Luc Godard often transformed his synopses into aesthetic programs,” an official Cannes statement read. “‘Phoney Wars’ follows in this tradition and will remain as the ultimate gesture of cinema.”

The description of “Phoney Wars” reads: “To no longer trust the billions of diktats of the alphabet to give back freedom to the incessant metamorphoses and metaphors of a true language by returning to the places of past shoots while taking into account the present stories.”

Godard was awarded a special Palme d’Or in 2018 for “The Image Book,” with then-jury president Cate Blanchett honoring the film.

The trailer is billed as a Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello and Vixens production, in coproduction with L’Atelier. Filmmaker Fabrice Aragno, Godard’s longtime collaborator, will be in attendance for the special screening.

The Saint Laurent fashion house film productions additionally include Pedro Almodóvar’s “Strange Way of Life” which is also debuting at Cannes. Feature-length films by David Cronenberg and Paolo Sorrentino are additionally in the works.

The Cannes Classics lineup this year is rounded out by a restored version of Man Ray’s “Return to Reason” with a new score by Jim Jarmusch’s band Sqürl; Lubna Playoust’s documentary “Room 999” revisiting Wim Wenders’ “Room 666;” and a tribute screening of documentary “Liv Ullman – A Road Less Travelled.” A celebration of Yasujirō Ozu in honor of the 70th anniversary of his death features restorations of “Record of a Tenement Gentleman” and “The Munekata Sisters.”

For the full Cannes lineup, click here.

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