Jean-Luc Godard Told His ‘King Lear’ Star Molly Ringwald He Didn’t Like ‘Pulp Fiction’: ‘Not Authentic’

Jean-Luc Godard Told His ‘King Lear’ Star Molly Ringwald He Didn’t Like ‘Pulp Fiction’: ‘Not Authentic’

December 13, 2022

Jean-Luc Godard only had contempt for Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”

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

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

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

“When I watch ‘King Lear’ now, I’m struck by how extremely still and vigilant I seem,” Ringwald wrote. “My back is straight and at times it almost looks as though I’m in a photograph — until I speak or move. Godard was exacting about every single gesture, and I found that it was easier to do precisely as he liked.”

The “Pretty in Pink” icon continued, “Once, before I filmed a scene of Cordelia waking up in bed, I asked if he wanted me to wake up slowly, and he looked at me as if the question were absurd: ‘No, you just wake up. Don’t act.’ He expanded on this a little, telling me that in American films people were always acting, which to him was a cardinal sin.”

It’s safe to say that the difference in taste was mutual with Godard and “Pulp Fiction” writer-director Tarantino.

“I’m not really a big fan of Jean-Luc Godard anymore,” Tarantino said in 2013. “I think Godard is kind of like Frank Frazetta. You get into him for a while and he’s like your hero for a little bit. You start drawing shit like him and then you outgrow. I think that’s what Godard is, at least for me anyway, as a filmmaker.”

Godard died at age 91 in September 2022. He died from assisted suicide in Switzerland, where the elective injection is legal. “He was not sick, he was simply exhausted,” a Godard family member told press outlets when he passed away.

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