Godard tells AMPAS what it can do with that Honorary Oscar

Posted by · 10:21 am · September 6th, 2010

You might recall that, in the wake of auteur Jean-Luc Godard being tapped as on of the year’s Honorary Oscar recipients, the French New Wave pioneer turned up missing.  Well it seems he may have been actively avoiding that phone call from AMPAS brass.

Godard’s girlfriend, Anne-Marie Mieville, spoke for him in an interview with The Australian, and she didn’t mince words:

He just told me, ‘It’s not the Oscars’…At first he thought it was going to be part of the same ceremony, then he realised it was a separate thing in November…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?

I don’t suppose we should have expected less, though the circumstance digs up the questioning of the Academy’s decision last year to relegate these honors to an untelevised satellite ceremony in the fall rather than as part of the usual festivities in late February.

What say you?  Is Godard being a bit stubborn?  Is he spot on?

→ 22 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

22 responses so far

  • 1 9-06-2010 at 10:33 am

    Ben said...

    Give it to someone else.

  • 2 9-06-2010 at 10:33 am

    James D. said...

    I wonder if he would have gone even if it was at the real Oscars. I thought I read he does not fly because he cannot smoke on a plane anymore.

  • 3 9-06-2010 at 10:46 am

    hopeless pedant said...

    Good for him.

    It is a point that needs to be made. Yes, he likely doesn’t care that much, but amazing how he hit the nail right on the head, when the rest of the industry has been complaining behind the scenes but has been afraid to speak out for fear of offending the Academy.

  • 4 9-06-2010 at 10:53 am

    Vito said...

    I’m on his side. Something as important as the honorary awards should be part of the main broadcast.

  • 5 9-06-2010 at 10:58 am

    Drew said...

    Well it’s nice to see that he’s appreciative

  • 6 9-06-2010 at 11:38 am

    Jake said...

    He is right, it should be part of the main show. Good for Godard for making the point and maybe the academy will listen to him and move it back in future telecasts.

  • 7 9-06-2010 at 11:44 am

    John said...

    Can’t you fly the Oscar over to him and give it via satellite? And yes, it should be part of the main show.

  • 8 9-06-2010 at 12:01 pm

    hopeless pedant said...

    John –

    The dinner is held around 8 pm LA time, so that would be 5 am in Switzerland.

    Godard is reliably reported not to be in good health. That sort of disruption isn’t necessarily a good thing.

    He has also reportedly said that Film socialisme is his final film. Perhaps he can make a short that he can send to them in place of himself, or if nothing else, a brief sampling of his brilliant documentary Histoire du cinema(s).

  • 9 9-06-2010 at 12:35 pm

    James D. said...

    Hopeless pedant, where did you hear that? That is quite depressing, indeed, although since Film Socialisme confused everyone at Cannes, it might be an appropriate end.

  • 10 9-06-2010 at 12:52 pm

    Gilbert Lopez said...

    “Come get your honorary Oscar, Jean-Luc. Only…can you come in through the back?…. Oh, and make sure no one sees you.”

  • 11 9-06-2010 at 1:06 pm

    Peter said...

    The Oscars show, which started as movie people honoring their own, has now become some sort of hopelessly lame variety show consisting mainly of clip reels, dance numbers, and wooden TV-news-level ‘repartee’.
    They only allow winners 30 seconds, staring at a countdown clock, to deliver their thoughts at a momentous instant in their career. Now there isn’t even time for the most treasured members of the community to receive the award for and of a lifetime.
    I don’t know Goddard’s reasoning to not show up but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were the beginning of a trend.

  • 12 9-06-2010 at 1:43 pm

    hopeless pedant said...

    James D. –

    I heard that Godard doesn’t plan any further films from a leading critic/scholar who keeps in distant touch with J-L G and more so with his small team of collaborators. He also told me that he had shut down his long-time Paris office.

    Sorry to be elusive/discreet, but I have been told specifically of the nature of his illness, which does sound like travel would not be adviseable if even possible.

  • 13 9-06-2010 at 2:16 pm

    Scott E said...

    Whatever his reasoning or whether he would show up anyway, he’s dead right. The Oscars are the Oscars. One ceremony. One night a year. Period.
    The reason we all love the Oscars and spend time chatting and arguing about them is because they have been relatively unchanged over the years. In their own strange way, they had integrity.
    The Academy has made 2 huge mistakes in the last couple years. Giving out the honorary awards at a separate ceremony is insulting and having 10 Best Picture nominees is idiotic, it totally dilutes the honor. Not to mention that there are never 10 worthy nominees anyway.
    The Oscars are in danger of losing their integrity and becoming as meaningless and ridiculous as the Emmys and the Grammys.

  • 14 9-06-2010 at 2:21 pm

    Daveylow said...

    There are 10 films a year that are worthy of best picture but the Academy just doesn’t always nominate the good ones whether there are 5 or 10 nominees.

  • 15 9-06-2010 at 2:30 pm

    James D. said...

    Thanks for the information, pedant. As far as I am concerned, Godard is one of the top five directors of all time, so I was kind of hoping he would make movies forever.

  • 16 9-06-2010 at 2:30 pm

    M said...

    I agree with him. It is an insult to not have the Honorary Recipients at the awards show. Yet I have to see horror montage and some damn musical, as well as so called movie stars such as Twilight People and others who do not even deserve to be there until they can actually make good movies.

    More power to him, the Oscars are turning into a joke. I am young but doing all this for ratings is stupid, esp since those who love those insignificant stars watch for them and then change the channel, they have the mtv movie awards and teen awards for that garbage.

    Bring back the days when Oscars was a legitimate award show.

  • 17 9-06-2010 at 4:29 pm

    JTag said...

    I’m thrilled he’s passing. I was very pissed that Corman and Bacall were reduced to waving to the crowd from the audience in place of material like Colin Farrell talking about spooning Jeremy Renner, and Vera Farmiga alerting us to the dreaminess of George Clooney.

  • 18 9-06-2010 at 5:04 pm

    aspect ratio said...

    Kind of funny that Godard of all people would remark on it not being a part of the Oscar show, since you’d think he wouldn’t give a rat’s ass either which way.

    Why not throw the man a dinner in France?

  • 19 9-06-2010 at 5:59 pm

    Gustavo said...

    The Academy is running its awards show to the ground, everybody realizes it but them. Fantastic.

  • 20 9-06-2010 at 6:51 pm

    al b. said...

    Should the honorary awards be presented in the main show? Yes.

    Should Godard be more appreciative and humble even if he doesn’t care? Yes.

  • 21 9-06-2010 at 9:08 pm

    hopeless pedant said...

    Aspect Ratio –

    Actually, Godard lives in Switzerland, as he has for the majority of his life. He is a Swiss citizen, and really hasn’t had a significant presence in Paris since the 1970s; most of his films since then have been made at or near his home outside Geneva. (And as a significant side of his Swiss French speaking routes, his background is Calvinist/Protestant, not Catholic, not that he as an adult has had any religious attachment).

    I love though that he has a sense of Oscar history. My guess is that he is tweaking them, though he knows some of his heroes and mentors – Jean Renoir the former, Henri Langois of the Cinemateque Francaise the latter – both received similar Oscars, but got them on the TV show.

    The Academy has sent crews to people not in good health to give them, but they didn’t do that last year for John Calley, who lives in LA but whose health prevented his attending.

  • 22 9-08-2010 at 3:50 am

    interstellar said...

    I read he didn’t show up for other awards, either, so I don’t think he has something against Academy in particular.

    Anyway: you give an honorary award to LAUREN BACALL and I have to watch it on the website???