When it was announced that Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film Farewell to Language would be a contender for the 2014 Palme d’Or, it gave rise to speculation about whether the notorious no-show might finally grace the Croisette with his presence and attend the premiere of this film.
Some of the speculation has been nothing short of, well, breathless about whether the New Wave icon might surprise us all and travel to Cannes this year. As we reported when the line-up was announced, Festival director Thierry Fremaux claimed to have received Godard’s assurance that he would be coming this time, but even Fremaux took that with a grain of salt. His revelation included the caveat, “Not that that means anything”.
Indeed. Just days out from the premiere of Farewell To Language, 83 year-old Godard has appeared on French television to say that he has absolutely no intention of leaving his Swiss home to make his way to the French Riviera, and there’s nothing that can sway him to change his mind.
Godard, who has never won an award at Cannes, said he wouldn't have minded winning a prize “30 or 40 years ago”. But with the benefit of hindsight and more than a little hubris, he reflected that "[winning] would have undoubtedly done some harm and I am happy today that I didn't".
If Farewell to Language does take out any awards at the Closing Ceremony this coming weekend, Godard said he’d give the gong to his tax advisor, as he already has possession of Godard's honourary Oscar.
In response, Cannes president Gilles Jacob tweeted, “Godard is not coming, He knows that his brilliant appearance would eclipse his own movie . Another time. So long, Jean-Luc".