New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard died of assisted suicide: Legal counsel

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Jean-Luc Godard, the French-Swiss director whose movies broke traditional cinema forms and heralded the radical New Wave film movement of the 1960s, has died aged 91 by assisted suicide.

Godard died “peacefully Tuesday at his home in Rolle, Switzerland,” according to a statement from his family.

The filmmaker used assisted suicide, which in his case was medically and legally validated, Godard’s legal counsel Patrick Jeanneret told Bloomberg News.

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Godard suffered from “multiple disabling pathologies,” Jeanneret said, and “he decided in all lucidity to go.”

French President Emmanuel Macron called him “a national treasure.”

Godard invented an art that was “resolutely modern, intensely free,” Macron said in a tweet.

Godard gained acclaim in 1960 with “Breathless,” which captured his generation’s search for the freedom and creativity that later characterized the social upheaval of the decade.

The movie introduced an aesthetic revolution with new filming techniques, the use of hand-held cameras and jump cuts that gave the viewer the impression of moving forward in time.

“It’s a movie that’s been made in reaction to everything that wasn’t being made,” Godard said in an interview in 1960. “Almost pathologically, systematically. It was a desire to show that everything was allowed.”

His career spanned more than half a century and became increasingly political, earning him a reputation as a provocateur.

Godard’s work, which influenced Hollywood directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman, included essays, documentaries and films about movie-making itself, and his approach dispensed with the linear narrative style.

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