Earlier this week we noted that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had, delightfully, announced a special Oscar for Jean-Luc Godard, to be awarded along with the year’s other honorary Oscars at a November ceremony.
The prospect of Godard’s Oscar acceptance speech was always, we noted, “unlikely,” given Godard’s long and distinguished history of ducked appearances, declined honors, and distaste for mainstream American culture (post-60s). And now, as it turns out, the Academy has been unable to contact the reclusive director to tell him about his Oscar.
“We’ve been attempting to reach him since 7 o’clock on Tuesday evening and we have as yet had no confirmation,” the Academy’s Bruce Davis has admitted. “We have tried by telephone, by fax, and by emails to various friends and associates. We have even sent him a formal letter by FedEx.” But Godard has yet to acknowledge the Academy.
Due to either ill health or general recalcitrance—or the former disguised as the latter, or a combination of the two—Godard is a hard man to find (“His phone number is a closely guarded secret, and he is impossible to reach via email, since he still does almost all of his work on a typewriter and refuses to use the internet as a matter of principle”), and a harder man to lure out into public space. This is true even if you’re his biographer. It is, evidently and to no one’s surprise, even truer if you’re the organization that represents all that is most facile and self-congratulatory about the globe-bestriding American entertainment industry.