Jean-Luc Godard’s most celebrated period as a director was during the 1960s, during which he helped usher in the French New Wave movement. He honed a particular style and technique with these films (more traditional in nature than what would come after in his filmography, but groundbreaking nonetheless), wielding such a strong aesthetic hand that an auteur became a figurehead.
Telling the story of this period in a conventional manner would rob Godard of his magic. There will be no Ken Burns-ing of Godard. Looking back on his art requires an artistic approach itself.
That’s how essayist, and director of this year’s quietly contemplative debut Columbus, kogonada was able to find beauty and narrative in Godard’s scattered decade. By scattering and reassembling fragments of his films, the rearranged mosaic’s familiarity is as telling as an hour-long documentary.