The son of Odile (née Monod) and Swiss doctor Paul Godard, Jean-Luc Godard was born on December 3, 1930, in Paris's 7th arrondissement.
His mother was a descendant of Banque Paribas founder Julien Monod, and his parents were affluent Protestants of Franco-Swiss ancestry. She was the theologian Adolphe Monod's great-granddaughter.
His mother's side also includes composer Jacques-Louis Monod, naturalist Théodore Monod, preacher Frédéric Monod, and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former Peruvian prime minister who eventually became president. When Jean-Luc was four years old, his father relocated the family to Switzerland. Godard was in France at the start of the Second World War and struggled to get back to Switzerland.
Who influenced Jean-Luc Godard?
After receiving a newspaper item from Truffaut in 1959, Godard used it as inspiration to create the basic plot of “Breathless.”
Godard questioned the “Tradition of Quality” in mainstream French cinema during his early career as a film critic for the prestigious publication Cahiers du Cinéma, which favored established convention over innovation and experimentation.
In reaction, he and other like-minded critics started to create their own movies, defying both French and conventional Hollywood traditions.
The critically acclaimed films Vivre sa vie (1962), Bande à part (1964), and Pierrot le Fou (1965) were produced as a result of his collaborations with Karina, which Filmmaker magazine referred to as “probably the most important collection of work in the history of cinema.”