Image Credit: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty ImagesYesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced actor Eli Wallach, British film preservationist Kevin Brownlow, and iconoclastic French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard as recipients of Honorary Oscars to be handed out at an awards dinner this November. Last night, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Academy had been unsuccessful in contacting Godard about the honor. “We’ve been attempting to reach him since 7 o’clock Tuesday evening and we have as yet had no confirmation,” Bruce Davis, the Academy’s executive director, said late on Wednesday. “We have tried by telephone, by fax, by emails to various friends and associates. We have sent a formal letter by FedEx. But we have certainly not been told he will show up at this point.”
Now EW has confirmed with the Academy that, as of this posting, Godard still has not responded.
While a rep for the 79-year-old filmmaker couldn’t be reached in time for clarification, his lack of a response to the Academy’s honor could suggest that he will be a rare no-show for the event in November. (The Academy no longer presents honorary awards during its annual telecast.) Godard certainly has made clear his disdain for film awards in the past. This past May, he didn’t show up to his own press conference at the Cannes Film Festival when debuting his polarizing new movie Film Socialisme. He’s also avoided long airplane flights for years. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really picture him posing with an Oscar statuette clutched in his hand.
Throughout his career, Godard, though an admirer of certain American directors like Sam Fuller and Nicholas Ray, has been adamantly anti-Hollywood. Contempt, his modern-day reworking of The Odyssey, featured Jack Palance as his idea of an American film studio executive — a rapacious, domineering vulgarian. In fact, he’s built his entire career around being a rebel, from his opening salvo of Breathless in 1960, to his surreal, nihilistic anti-movie Week End (“The End of Cinema”), to his Maoist days with the Dziga Vertov Group, to his latest plot-defying cinematic rant in Film Socialisme. Godard attacks the film Establishment; he doesn’t accept its highest honor, right?
Godard fans, do you think he’ll be present to receive his honor this November? Or, when it comes to Hollywood, will he continue to show his contempt?