Jean-Pierre Léaud and Jean-Luc Godard in Cannes, 1968.
Stanley Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
Jean-Luc Godard in Paris during the May 1968 protests.
Every film is the result of the society that produced it. That’s why the American cinema is so bad now. It reflects an unhealthy society.
--Jean-Luc Godard, 1968
Yellow Submarine (1968, dir. George Dunning).
Godard loses his glasses and Truffaut takes a spill during the chaos of the abortive screening of Peppermint Frappé at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival. Peppermint Frappé director Carlos Saura and star Geraldine Chaplin were among those trying to prevent the screening as part of the ongoing efforts to shut down the festival.
(Godard is clearly the Velma of the Nouvelle Vague.)
Jean Rouch, Jean Renoir and Jean-Luc Godard at a meeting held in support of Henri Langlois, founder and director of the Cinemathéque Française. 1968.
Jean-Luc Godard argues with a journalist during the May 1968 protests.
«On May 10th, 1968 the 21st Festival de Cannes opens its doors. While France (…) [protests] and the universities close, students invade the Festival (…).»
«On the 18th, just before the screening in Competition of Peppermint Frappé by Carlos Saura, several New Wave filmmakers, lead by François Truffaut and Jean- Luc Godard», host a conference.
«Godard announced that he wanted films to be shown, the festival to be totally overhauled and no prizes awarded. Truffaut called for a complete stop.»
«At one point, Godard accused everyone assembled in the Grande Salle, and cinema in general, of having failed to represent the revolutionary moment: ‘There’s not a single film that shows the problems that workers and students are going through. Not one. Whether made by Forman, by me, by Polanski or Francois. We’ve missed the boat!’
To audience booing, Godard insisted, ‘It’s not a matter of continuing or not continuing to watch films. It’s a matter of cinema showing solidarity with the student movement and the only practical way of doing this is to stop all the projections immediately.’
(…) The public was vocally demanding the screening of Carlos Saura’s (…) [film], starring Geraldine Chaplin, despite the fact that Saura had withdrawn the film from competition. The lights came down and the protestors onstage took the only action available to them.
Assisted by the film’s director and his leading lady, they hung onto the curtains obscuring the screen, keeping them firmly closed so that the film could not be seen properly by the spectators. Godard was slapped in the face and lost his glasses, and Truffaut was thrown to the floor by an angry audience member.»
«The next day, May 19, five days before the scheduled end, Cannes’ topper Robert Favre le Bret called off the festival.»
You can watch a video of the conference here.