Starred Review. Comprehensive and fascinating, this critical biography of one of the leading filmmakers of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard, by New Yorker editor and film critic Brody offers the significant events and achievements of the cinematic innovator who combined an eye-opening concoction of art, politics, music, personal values and social mores. The author reveals an isolated yet driven creative genius who rises from writing articles for the pioneering Cahiers du Cinéma magazine with Truffaut, Rivette and Rohmer to soaring early successes with his films Breathless, Contempt, Masculine Feminine, A Married Woman to the later controversial gems, First Name: Carmen, Hail Mary and Detective. Godard, according to Brody, compares in critical importance to Picasso in his artistry, as the director's puzzling complexity is revealed through scores of interviews with family, colleagues and crew. Throughout the book, the key personal elements of Godard's chaotic love life provide added spark. This is a completely enjoyable and revealing account of an enigmatic director whose singular creativity will not allow him to make commercial compromises. (May)
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"Richard Brody's biography of Godard—arguably the most important, enigmatic, and exciting filmmaker of the second half of the 20th century—effortlessly weaves intellectual history, a personal saga, and an authoritative reading of the films themselves into a seamless web. It virtually crackles with intelligence, and is a must read for anyone interested in cinema."—Peter Biskind, author of Gods and Monsters: Thirty Years of Writing on Film and Culture
"Full of lucid analysis and human context, Richard Brody's book performs a heroic act in rescuing Godard and his growing shelf of works from the prison of myth and theory, from the cult of youth and the cult of the '60s, restoring him to his place as an engaged, hard-working artist."—Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude
"Godard changed the movies as much as the American masters he grew up on: Welles, Hawks, Hitchcock, and the rest. He is as original as Picasso—but unlike Picasso, he has been denied the biography he has always deserved. This is it. Just at the moment when the New Wave turns fifty, Richard Brody has given us Everything is Cinema, a remarkable book which describes with sharp intelligence a great and elusive artist's times, intellect, passions, and work."—Wes Anderson, writer and director of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic
"Everything Is Cinema is better than a biography, it is a novel. And a great novel, in which one discovers the story of a man who almost picked the wrong art form, a struggling writer who became an immense filmmaker."—Bernard-Henri Lévy, author of American Vertigo