Jean-Luc Godard told Molly Ringwald that he didn’t like Pulp Fiction

Godard complained that “American films always acted out what was a mortal sin to him,” recalled Ringwald.

Jean-Luc Godard had nothing but contempt for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Godard told King Lear actress Molly Ringwald that despite being one of the most popular films of 1994 and winning Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, Pulp Fiction lacked truth. But Godard was unimpressed in conversation with Ringwald.

“We talked about current films. He didn’t think much of ‘Pulp Fiction,’ the movie of the moment,” Ringwald recalled in an essay for The New Yorker, noting that they stayed in touch after 1987’s ‘King Lear.’ “‘Not authentic,’ he explained. (That word again!) However, we both liked ‘Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould’, a more obscure film by French-Canadian director François Girard.”

Ringwald played Cordelia in Godard’s “King Lear” and emphasized authenticity on set.

“When I watch ‘King Lear’ now, I’m struck by how extremely still and alert I seem,” Ringwald wrote. “My back is straight and sometimes it almost looks like I’m in a photograph – until I speak or move. Godard was exacting about every single gesture and I found it easier to do exactly what he wanted.”

The Pretty in Pink icon continued, “Once before I was filming a scene where Cordelia is waking up in bed, I asked him if he wanted me to wake up slowly and he looked at me like the question was absurd: ‘No, you just wake up. Don’t trade.’ He elaborated a bit and told me that in American films there is always acting, which he considers a mortal sin.”

It’s safe to say that there was a difference in taste between Godard and Pulp Fiction writer-director Tarantino.

“I’m not a huge fan of Jean-Luc Godard anymore,” Tarantino said in 2013. “I think Godard is a bit like Frank Frazetta. You fall in love with him for a while and he is like your hero for a while. You start drawing shit like him and then you outgrow it. I think that’s Godard, at least for me as a filmmaker.”

Godard died in September 2022 at the age of 91. He died of assisted suicide in Switzerland, where the elective injection is legal. “He wasn’t sick, he was just exhausted,” a family member of Godard told news outlets when he died.

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Lindsay Lowe

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