LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Reclusive French-Swiss director film Jean-Luc Godard will skip a gala Hollywood dinner next month where he will be awarded an honorary Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday.
Godard, 79, was invited to the November 13 ceremony to accept an honorary Oscar marking his 50 years as "one of the seminal modernists of in history of cinema" through films like "Breathless" and "Sympathy for the Devil".
But the Academy said that after a "two month long, 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 honored 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 in Switzerland, the Academy said.
Godard, who prefers to make small budget movies, 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.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte