French actress Heloise Godet graced the red carpet Saturday evening at Alice Tully Hall for the New York Film Festival screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s 43rd film, “Goodbye to Language.” The movie reveals the 83-year-old great avant-garde director is still very much engaged in the world of politics and ideas.
The film was a big hit at Cannes, but New York press reactions were mixed. The press notes state that the director has created a “work that embodies his own state of being in relation to time, light, color, the problem of living and speaking with others, and, of course, cinema.”
Reviewers universally praised one of the stars, Roxy, Godard’s beloved dog, a shepherd mix, that stars as a sort of speechless – because she is a dog after all – narrator during the second half of the film, which is slightly over an hour and in 3D.
Alas, Roxy did not make the New York Film Festival screening, but I did speak briefly to Ms. Godot, the human star of the film. She wore a beautiful rose-colored gown by Galliano. The actress told me she had just arrived in New York and was jet lagged. “I’m sleepwalking,” she laughed, “but I am really, really happy to be here.”
What surprised her the most about working with the legendary director?
“I was mainly surprised about his kindness and simplicity, always being a gentleman, just very loving towards his actresses. I was surprised that he was just a gentle director.”
Godard is already working on his next film, she told me, noting of his solicitous nature towards actors, “I was mainly a lot naked and he would say, be careful not to catch a cold, have some soup. I didn’t think he was like that.”
Was she intimidated at her young age working with one of France’s most famous directors? “I was full of respect. I wasn’t intimated. I was just enjoying every second, opening my eyes and watching him and trying to absorb his madness and poetry and kindness.”
All photos below taken by and used with permission of Paula Schwartz.