Film director Jean-Luc Godard of the French New Wave has died at 91

Influential critic and filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, has died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at his home in the Swiss town of Rolle, on Lake Geneva, his family said in a statement.

The family statement said the 91-year-old Godard had multiple illnesses and died from assisted suicide.

The director and onetime "enfant terrible" of the French New Wave helped revolutionize popular cinema in the 1960s, and spent the rest of his career pushing boundaries and reinventing cinematic form.

What greeted audiences in Godard's first feature, the 1960 crime drama Breathless, was the shock of the new. American actress Jean Seberg was cast opposite a then-unknown Jean Paul Belmondo, cigarette dangling sexily from his lip.

He played a penniless young car thief who models himself on Hollywood movie gangsters. After shooting a police officer, he goes on the run to Italy with Seberg, his pregnant girlfriend who seems almost disinterested in him.

They were Tinseltown archetypes, reconceived as the very essence of cool by a director who was a big fan of Hollywood films.