Jean-Luc Godard, director of my favorite film of all time, Vivre sa vie, has come out of his self-imposed cocoon for an interview with German weekly Die Zeit. The highlight of the interview, which I haven't read, is apparently an admission by Godard that he stole money to finance his early classics. "I had no choice," the 76 year-old legend tells the paper. "Or at least it seemed that way to me. I even stole money from my family to give (fellow French director Jacques) Rivette for his first film. I pinched money to be able to see films and to make films." After that, Godard moves on to more typical utterances, like taking a whiz all over today's generation of filmmakers. "Three-quarters of the people who will receive prizes in Berlin only pick up the camera to feel alive," he says. "They do not use it to see things that you cannot see without a camera."

Godard has of course long since been written off by mainstream critics, with each new work he produces receiving only scorn. Roger Ebert, in particular, has turned on the great New Wave innovator by declaring him to be part of a category of filmmakers who hit their stride at a specific time and place, and then flame out. The opposite would be the Eastwoods and Scorseses, who keep it going decade after decade. I'm not really qualified to agree or disagree with Ebert since I've yet to see many of Godard's later works, but if Ebert is right, it wouldn't take anything away from his masterpieces.

categories Cinematical