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French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: And legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard died today at his home in Switzerland. France's President Emmanuel Macron called him a national treasure.

Jeffrey Brown has this remembrance.

Jeffrey Brown: The unconventional camerawork and storytelling, the jump cuts and much more. The 1960 movie "Breathless" helped usher in a bold, new and influential style of filmmaking, and made director Jean-Luc Godard one of cinema's great innovators.

Beginning in the late 1950s and into the '60s, he and other young filmmakers, including Francois Truffaut, became known as the French New Wave. Godard made a string of movies that often grew from his past heroes, such as Alfred Hitchcock, but created a new aesthetic that influenced generations of directors to come.

Brigitte Bardot, Actress (through translator): We didn't have much money, but everything was fine.

Jeffrey Brown: Martin Scorsese called the 1963 movie "Contempt" starring Brigitte Bardot one of his favorite films of all time, and referred to Godard as among the great modern visual artists of cinema.

Actor: Why do you despise me? Tell me, or I will hurt you.

Jeffrey Brown: Quentin Tarantino compared him to Bob Dylan, saying — quote — "They both revolutionized their forms."

Godard would combine mainstream, experimental and left-wing political filmmaking for decades. But, today, the focus was on his breakthrough work and influence. He died at his home in Switzerland. A family statement gave assisted suicide as a cause of death, saying the filmmaker suffered from — quote — "multiple pathologies."

Judy Woodruff: Jean-Luc Godard was 91 years old.

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