Remembering Patti Smith’s cameo in Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme

The poet and musician starred in the late French-Swiss director’s 2010 feature.

News of Jean-Luc Godard’s death has been announced today (13 September). The director, known for pioneering French new-wave cinema and famed for films such as Breathless, Alphaville and Contempt, has passed away aged 91.

In a 2012 interview, Patti Smith recalls filming with Godard. She explains that Godard invited her to go on a cruise ship with him and his film crew. “There was ten days at sea,” Smith said, adding that this was her first time spent at sea and the experience also featured on her album Banga.

When asked, in the interview, about the thought behind this cruise and spending this time with Godard, Smith said: “Mr. Godard is very secretive so I’m not completely sure. He just decided he wanted to shoot part of his film on this cruise ship.”

“My duties were quite light,” Smith continued, “so we had a lot of time to get off the ship, when we were at port, and to explore Rhodes and Alexandria and Cyprus. When he needed me I was ready to perform or do the shots that he wanted. So it was mysterious and exciting.”

Detailing further, Smith added that she played “a very minor character” and that Godard had wanted “one good American and he chose me. I thought that was very kind of him,” she concluded.

The full Soundcheck podcast interview can be listened back to here.

Back to top