Holocaust tale piques auteur

Godard eyes Mendelsohn adaptation, sources say

Even as he approaches 80, Jean-Luc Godard keeps on trucking.

The icon of the French New Wave has been toiling away on "Le socialisme," a political story that could be ready as early as this year.

Now there's word he's circling "The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million," a first-person Holocaust tome from New York Times writer Daniel Mendelsohn, as a possible directing vehicle.

Mendelsohn's book, a best-seller when it came out three years ago, traces the writer's quest to determine his relatives' fate in the small town of Bolechow, Poland, during World War II and expands into larger questions of guilt and collective responsibility.

"Lost" won a National Book Critics Circle prize in the U.S. and made a splash in France, picking up the country's prestigious Prix Medicis.

Godard, who turns 79 in the fall, never has taken on the Holocaust directly, but several of his films -- including the Algerian war picture "Le petit soldat," the anti-war pic "Les carabiniers" and his most recent work, the 2004 triptych "Notre musique" -- deal with complex political and philosophical questions.

As for "Le socalisme," an unofficial French-language trailer shows it mixing documentary and feature footage from countries throughout Europe, much of it with political themes.

There even was word, later proved premature, that the movie would be ready for the just-concluded Festival de Cannes. There's always more to surf in the French New Wave.

Steven Zeitchik reported from New York; Rebecca Leffler reported from Paris.