Despite evidence pointing to his complete non-existence Jean-Luc Godard is in fact still alive, his extremely brief interview with The Australian proves. What’s more, the legend of cinema is actually aware that he will be awarded an honorary Oscar.
On Aug. 26, the Academy assigned flacks to the impossible task of convincing the notoriously private filmmaker to come to Los Angeles, or at the very lease contacting him. Now, after weeks of calls, voice mails, emails, faxes and letters sent by courier, Godard has confirmed that one of the methods of communication finally worked.
“I got the letter,” the director told The Australian in a story that ran today. The reporter had tracked down Godard outside his home in the remote town of Rolle, Switzerland, but the filmmaker was not too inclined to talk about the award, or about anything else. He soon issued a quick “thank you” and walked back into his home.
The odds of Godard booking a flight from in Rolle to L.A. were always slim, and now his longtime partner Anne-Marie Mieville has confirmed the suspicion to The Australian.
“He just told me, ‘It’s not the Oscars,’ ” she says, referring to his reaction on learning about the award. “At first he thought it was going to be part of the same ceremony, then he realised it was a separate thing in November.”
Not that it would make any difference. “Jean-Luc won’t go to America, he’s getting old for that kind of thing. Would you go all that way just for a bit of metal?”
Mieville insists that his lack of a response was not a snub to the Academy. She even suggested that he might send a representative to accept in his honor. This would break tradition, as he was a total no-show at Cannes this year, and wrote off the European Film Academy’s lifetime achievement award at 2007.
And yet the Academy is still holding out hope for an appearance of Godard in the flesh. “We’ve not formally heard that he’s not coming,” Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger told The Hollywood Reporter. “We certainly hope he can and he will. But if he doesn’t, we’ll still honor him and have an awards presentation at the event, and we will make sure by appropriate means that the statuette gets to him in due course.”
But there’s no telling what Godard will do with the “bit of metal” once it arrives in the Swiss countryside. Well, the man does love his cigars — has anyone ever made an ashtray out of an Oscar?