Dick Cavett’s interview with Godard from two 1980 episodes of The DickCavett Show. Godard received an honorary Oscar last month amidst controversy over his politics judged as Pro Palestinian and Anti Semitic.
The controversy made Godard Snub the Ceremony and did not go to Fetch the prestigious award which rightly prompted debate over his unfair treatment in Hollywood circles unable to distinguish between an Artist work and his personal life and opinions.
An attitude which contrasts greatly with the way the iconic French director was received back in the 1980’s in America as was the case on the memorable Dick Cavett Show.
Though Godard is generally quite difficult and argumentativein interviews, he comes across as surprisingly relaxed here. This was DickCavett’s great strength as an interviewer: he put guarded people at ease. He’sa bit quick to poke fun at Godard’s more peculiar ideas, but his respect forGodard still shines through. His most celebrated period as a film maker is roughly from his first feature, Breathless (1960), through to Week End (1967) focused on relatively conventional works that often refer to different aspects of film history. This cinematic period stands in contrast to the revolutionary period that immediately followed it, during which Godard ideologically denounced much of cinema’s history as “bourgeois” and therefore without merit. An attitude which often wrongly type casted him as provocative and unpredictable in the eyes of the audience and film critics in general. But Godard remains a reference and icon to many International film directors including many Hollywood greats ranging from Martin Scorsese to Steven Spielberg to name a few.