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Godard, That Artful Thief

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In what perhaps can best be described as Too-Much-Information, Jean-Luc Godard today staggered New Wave film fans around the world when he confessed to stealing money to make his films. In an interview with Die Zeit weekly, the legendary French New Wave director chatted for a feature in anticipation of being given a lifetime achievement award on Saturday in Berlin by the European Film Academy.

The much-lauded and revered director of the landmark Breathless told the high brow Die Zeit (The Time), "I had no choice. Or at least it seemed
that way to me. I even stole money from my family to give to (fellow
French director Jacques) Rivette for his first film. I pinched money to
be able to see films and to make films."

While the comment is candid, it’s shouldn’t be too surprising to those who’ve read a fair amount about the director. In Colin McCabe’s 2004 tome, Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at 70 , McCabe talks early on about how Godard and his family often spoke with a "soft voice veined with a biting sarcasm." His comment proves that, even at the ripe old age of 74, Godard can still provoke thought, discussion, and yes, controversy.

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