Like his New Wave contemporaries, Godard criticized mainstream French cinema's "Tradition of Quality", which "emphasized craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation." To challenge this tradition, he and like-minded critics started to make their own films. Many of Godard's films challenge the conventions of traditional Hollywood in addition to French cinema. He is often considered the most radical French filmmaker of the 1960s and 1970s. Several of his films express his political views.His films express his knowledge of film history through their references to earlier films. In addition, Godard's films often cite existentialism as he was an avid reader of existential and Marxist philosophy. His radical approach in film conventions, politics and philosophies made him the most influential[according to whom?] filmmaker of the French New Wave. Possibly his greatest, most innovative, but also most difficult[according to whom?] work is the multi-part video project Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998).
After the New Wave, his politics have been much less radical and his recent films are about representation and human conflict from a humanist, not Marxist perspective.