Jean-Luc Godard has often been hailed as the most influential and original director of the 1960s. He was born in France, educated as a youth in Switzerland, and returned to France to join the New Wave of filmmakers of the late 1950s and early 1960s, who shattered the polite conventions of postwar French cinema. In 1959 he made his directorial debut with Breathless, which was admired for its innovative techniques, such as the jump cut, and became an immediate international success. Sometimes criticized for his anarchistic use of the medium, Godard made films in the 1960s that are fast-moving, choppy, witty, informal---indeed, a wild collage of contrasting modes. His major films of that decade are Alphaville (1965), La Chinoise (1967), and Weekend (1967). Then, for a number of years, he devoted himself to making polemical leftist films for very small audiences. More recently, Godard had been trying to return to a more broad-based cinema.