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Godard to skip honorary Oscar ceremony

Reclusive French-Swiss film director Jean-Luc Godard will not attend a gala Hollywood dinner next month where he will be awarded an honorary Oscar.

Godard, 79, was invited to the ceremony on November 13 to accept an honorary Oscar marking his 50 years as “one of the seminal modernists in the history of cinema” through films like Breathless and Sympathy for the Devil.

But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that after a “two-month cordial exchange of correspondence”, Godard notified Academy president Tom Sherak that he would not be able to attend the ceremony.

“He reiterated his thanks for the award,” Sherak said in a statement, “and also sent his good wishes to the other individuals being honoured the same night – Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach – who he refers to as ‘the three other musketeers’.”

The dinner ceremony will pay tribute to Godard through film clips and commentary by admirers. The award will be accepted on Godard’s behalf by the Academy, and the Oscar statuette will be delivered to him.

Godard, born in Paris to a Swiss father and a French mother, has in the past stayed away from large public events, including the 2010 Cannes film festival.

The Academy last year moved its honorary Oscars ceremony to November instead of handing them out during the main Academy Awards in February.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR