Cannes to premiere Jean-Luc Godard film finished the day before he died

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The final film from the French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard is set to premiere at this year’s Cannes film festival.

Scénarios is an 18-minute short that the film-maker finished in 2022 the day before he died via an assisted suicide procedure in Switzerland. Godard also made an accompanying 34-minute introduction which is a combination of “still and moving images, halfway between reading and seeing” that will be screened alongside it.

Last year, Trailer of the Film That Will Never Exist: “Phony Wars”, a look at an unfinished documentary, also premiered at Cannes, the first of his projects to be released posthumously. It was pushed by some as his final film, yet earlier that year, the author Nicole Brenez, who worked on a book about Godard, said he had “planned, directed and supervised several other [films]” before his death.

Godard’s long-time collaborators Fabrice Aragno and Jean-Paul Battaggia have been working to bring them to the screen. Aragno has said that Scénarios is “more in a classic video style with some Super-8 images”.

The director’s death came after a long career including films such as Breathless, Pierrot le Fou and Alphaville. “He was not sick, he was simply exhausted,” a statement read at the time. “So he had made the decision to end it. It was his decision and it was important for him that it be known.”

Scénarios is part of the festival’s Cannes Classics sidebar, which this year also includes special presentations of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. There will also be premieres of documentaries about Faye Dunaway and Jim Henson.

The main line-up includes Kinds of Kindness, reuniting Yorgos Lanthimos with Emma Stone, Andrea Arnold’s Bird starring Barry Keoghan, Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and George Miller’s Mad Max prequel Furiosa.

The festival takes place 14-25 May.


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