Jean-Luc Godard: S and D

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Have at it!

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 12:33 (nineteen years ago) link

(Is 'Elogie d'amour' worth watching? I have no clue about late (or even post-60s) Godard, but my local video shop has two copies of this - which I can't believe anyone has ever take out - and they sing their ph34rful siren song to me whenever I go in.)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 12:42 (nineteen years ago) link

i had this long talk about intermible movies to sit through, and it moved somehow into the maoist rantings of mr goddard. i dont know much about this.

enlighten me.

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 13:36 (nineteen years ago) link

Search: My Life to Live (I would say that's his best that I've seen), Contempt, Band of Outsiders, his hilariously pretentious segment in the movie Aria, maybe A Woman is a Woman, maybe Breathless

Destroy: Nouvelle Vague, For Ever Mozart

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 13:40 (nineteen years ago) link

My Life To Live, Alphaville, and Breathless are all amazing.

Weekend was dismal.

I haven't seen anything else by him.

Ryan McKay (Ryan McKay), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 13:48 (nineteen years ago) link

Week End has many strange, wonderful, and disturbing moments. It's probably best known for the long scene with the traffic jam. So many ideas in this movie. Poor Emily Bronte gets set on fire. Then there's the egg monologue, the pianist, the political essay set to a man eating a sandwich, etc.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 14:02 (nineteen years ago) link

Re: Mao comments

After Weekend, Godard did a series of films using Mao, Marx, and Engles in various ways. At the time he claimed he was disavowing "bourgeois" cinema, but later said that this period was a result of experimentation and he never even read any Mao (finding it fun to juxtapose Mao and Coca-Cola or something along those lines). Some of these "Maoist films" include Le Gai savoir (1968), British Sounds (1970), Vladimir and Rosa, and Tout va bien (1972), the last film marking the beginning of his gradual return to more commercial cinema. I've heard Le Gai savoir is the best from this period. I have not seen it though.

Ryan McKay (Ryan McKay), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 14:04 (nineteen years ago) link

Search Breathless, Vivre sa vie, Alphaville, Contempt, and Week-End.

Week-End is hard to watch, but I find it ultimately rewarding. After Breathless it's probably my favorite Godard film. It's one of the most messed up road movies I've ever seen (along with Jarmusch's Dead Man--watch them as a double feature, they work really well together).

die9o (dhadis), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 14:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Perhaps having judged too harshly, I shall retry Week End this weekend.

Ryan McKay (Ryan McKay), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 14:24 (nineteen years ago) link

a woman is a woman, yeah.

RJG (RJG), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 15:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Pierrot le Fou: So wonderful. A Jules Verne fantasyland.

Contempt: Sex, sun, sea and twisted automobiles. We've got Brigitte Bardot, Odysseus, Fritz Lang, Jack Palance, and the Casa Malaparte. Cinematic heroin.

-8-(*_*)-8-, Tuesday, 4 March 2003 15:27 (nineteen years ago) link

Also search: Two or Three Things I Know About Her. And Masculin Feminin is pretty cute, 60s teenage pop culture at its most endearing.

Fanfan la Tulipe, Tuesday, 4 March 2003 15:53 (nineteen years ago) link

I went to a screening of Truffaut's Soft Skin last week, and Raoul Coutard (the cinematographer for many of Truffaut and Godard's films) was there. Unfortunately, I was starving, so I didn't hang around for his post-film talk.

hstencil, Tuesday, 4 March 2003 15:55 (nineteen years ago) link

Might be difficult to track down, but "France/Tour/Detour/Deux/Enfants" is very good. It's a series he did for French TV in the late '70s (I think). A lot of it is interviews with children about philosophical and sociological questions. Imagine "Kids Say the Darnedest Things" hosted by Godard.

"Pierrot Le Fou" is my favorite of the films, though. And "Bande à Part" certainly has its moments.

Nemo (JND), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 15:55 (nineteen years ago) link

JtN, Eloge is pretty tedious a lot of the way, but there are interesting ideas and some beautiful scenes late on. Worth watching the once, I'd say - I'd say that about anything by Godard, to be honest. I love all of them up to Week-End, and really like that. The early ones with Anna Karina particularly are an irresistible joy.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 19:34 (nineteen years ago) link

The key film to see re. Godard's "Maoism" (I'm not certain he was ever an orthodox Maoist, even for a fleeting moment, but he certainly flirted with it; see an especially beauitful/bitter passage in Marker's La fond de l'air est rouge for a spectacular riposte) is La Chinose, along with Week End the last "commercial" film he made for a while. It features his then-g.f Anne Wiazemsky who was instrumental in radicalizing J-L. The film is about a cadre of students on summer holiday who form a Maoist cell and plot the assassination of a Soviet attaché. Also: relationship troubles, sex, sloganeering, exhausted advice from skeptical older figures, etc. You can sense Godard's fascination/repulsion w/r/t these young people (all pre-May 68 mind). Of course it also sort of gives the game away: Godard's politics were always an extension of his aesthetics (Godard, having the most overactive aesthetic sense of anyone alive) and here the revolutionaries are young and beautiful and favor primary colors (red esp.). I've always distrusted Godard even as I've admired him. In Eloge d'amour his target is Spielberg who stands in for American cultural imperialism, crassness, etc. It's not just the anti-Americanism that bothers me, it's the reduction of politics to aesthetics (or the conflation). I hope that makes some sense as I have to get back to work, but more later I'm sure.

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 19:47 (nineteen years ago) link

Re. his Dziga Vertov films, I've only seen two. Vent d'Est is very interesting and sometimes beautiful and shocking, albeit even more infuriating than usual for JLG. Letter to Jane is just infuriating, although interesting in the context of his career I suppose. I verges on structuralist experiment and that is how I've seen the other D-V films described. Still dying to see Tout va bien, though, his class-struggle film with Jane Fonda and Yves Montand.

As I've mention on another thread I value some of Godard's later (post-79) work as highly as the '60s films. Esp. Sauve qui peut, Passion, First Name: Carmen, Hail Mary, and Hélas pour moi. A lot of people swear by Histoire(s) du cinéma--I've only seen two episodes of this.

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 19:54 (nineteen years ago) link

Ryan, do yourself a favor and just watch Dead Man twice. Not only will you save yourself the torment of realizing you were right about Weekend all along, but DM has a much better soundtrack

innercitykitty (innercitykitty), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 20:33 (nineteen years ago) link

I got the chronology a little messed up. Letter to Jane isn't a Groupe Dziga-Vertov film, although it was made by two of that group's participants (Godard and Gorin); it was made after Tout va bien (both '72) and indeed refers to that film. It would take someone more familiar with the films of this period to determine the essential differences (aesthetic and political) b/t the D-Z films of 68-70 and the later films made by some of the same people.

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 21:10 (nineteen years ago) link

(One more aside: interestingly the Japanese seem more fond of Godard's films of this period than anyone else. La Chinoise and Vent d'Est are available on DVD there, but are difficult to see in any format in the West.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 21:12 (nineteen years ago) link

The first two parts of Histoire(s) du Cinema are incredibly moving if you're any kind of film fan.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Tuesday, 4 March 2003 21:40 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Has anyone read the Colin Macabe book yet?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 20:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Also, what are people's thoughts on Two Or Three Things I Know About Her?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 20:41 (eighteen years ago) link

I think it is about an airport.

RJG (RJG), Thursday, 18 March 2004 20:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Are you sure about that?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 20:47 (eighteen years ago) link

I can confirm.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 18 March 2004 20:49 (eighteen years ago) link

At the risk of sounding stupid (not that this ever bother me, as you all know), may I ask how?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Also - is godard "funny"?

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:10 (eighteen years ago) link

I just had in my head that it was about an airport.

Some bits of 'Une Femme Est Une Femme' are very funny.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:11 (eighteen years ago) link

I kind of love 2 or 3 things.

It's not about an airport. It's about a supermarket, a prostitute, a cup of coffee, et al, etc.

N.'s last line is correct aussi.

the bellefox, Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:25 (eighteen years ago) link

I agree.

RJG (RJG), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks, I was beginning to think that "2 Or 3 Things" was the most oblique film about an airport I had ever seen.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Bande A Part is very funny indeed as well as being my favourite of his films (and one of my favourite of all time) in spite of not having Belomodo in it (who makes me swoon even more than Mark Ruffalo does, @d@am)

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Bald dude with his star log?

Spinktor au de toilette (El Spinktor), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:35 (eighteen years ago) link

pierrot le fou is hilarious if you're a misanthrope like me

dean! (deangulberry), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:36 (eighteen years ago) link

All his films are funny.

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 18 March 2004 21:51 (eighteen years ago) link

nouvelle vague isn't.

dean! (deangulberry), Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:22 (eighteen years ago) link

haha - yeah, you're right. Actually when I was going over in my head all the films of his that I've seen, Nouvelle Vague was the only one that struck me as humorless. But it was rhetorically neater to say they all are.

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:24 (eighteen years ago) link

can i point out the irony of being a maoist film maker, maybe i dont get it, but if you were making art (or something like it) wouldnt you avoid an ideolofy which is this iconoclastic ?

anthony, Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:27 (eighteen years ago) link

i suppose godard finds humor in nv because he is the ultimate bitch. (xpost)

dean! (deangulberry), Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:30 (eighteen years ago) link

his maoist flirtations were brief, and about 35 years ago

!!!! (amateurist), Thursday, 18 March 2004 22:46 (eighteen years ago) link

'elogé de l'amour' isn't too funny either.

cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 18 March 2004 23:33 (eighteen years ago) link

it has its moments. i would say that it dabbles in irony and abject absurdity more than it does in humor. but yes, you're mostly right.

dean! (deangulberry), Thursday, 18 March 2004 23:37 (eighteen years ago) link

Breathless is good.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 18 March 2004 23:52 (eighteen years ago) link

Jed, I would like to see if your Ruffalo lust holds up after his irritating performance in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Friday, 19 March 2004 00:01 (eighteen years ago) link

godard's early films (up till '66 or so) have nothing to do with maoism. after that i can't say, but the early stuff is very funny and interesting. band a parte is my favorite too.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 19 March 2004 04:43 (eighteen years ago) link

One to lure me out of retirement!

I've seen most of his films up to the early 80s, and really every single one is worth seeing, even if some of the D-Z ones are almost unwatchable. The best of them is 'Vent d'Est', which was intended by its financiers as a kind of 'Bullet for the General'-style Marxist western, and indeed it has Gian Maria Volonte in it. It ends up as an essay on the politics of film-making, and is so a kind of sequel to 'Le Mepris', which is probably the best point of entry for Godard.

The jazzy score for 'Breathless' is lame, and I kind of don't think of it as a Godard at all. It was co-written with Truffaut.

His politics are always going to be a sticking point: the whole Maoist craze that afflicted France in the 60s was obviously a wrong turn, and JLG was a bit of a gadfly: you wouldn't catch Marker, Varda, or Rouch (more classically 'leftist' film-makers) making the same mistake.

This being so, I prefer his D-Z films, impossible as they are, to 'Tout va Bien', which was an attempt, via stars (Fonda and Montard) to 'reconnect' with the mass audience (it's about student politics, left-wing union politics, media politics); you'd be better off watching more straightforward contemporary films on the same subject by Ken Loach and other BBC directors of that era.

If I had to pick one, I guess it would be 'Masculin-Feminin', made in the winter of 65-66, and the start of his political odyssey, following 'Pierrot le Fou', his farewell to Hollywood.

Henry K M (Enrique), Friday, 19 March 2004 09:04 (eighteen years ago) link

'passion' is funny, sometimes just in its audacity

!!!! (amateurist), Friday, 19 March 2004 10:02 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...

I wish Criterion made posters out of their box art. I can't wait to watch this and the short that accompanies it.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Thursday, 17 June 2004 02:07 (eighteen years ago) link

that's a cool cover (except for the repeat of the title on the bottom), but the film is one of godard's worst imo. funny enough, criterion is supposed to be releasing "lettre à jane" on dvd, which is another of his worst. i guess they can make it up to us by releasing "je vous salue, marie" one of these days.

amateur!st (amateurist), Thursday, 17 June 2004 05:39 (eighteen years ago) link

hiroshima damn shawtie ok

mark s, Thursday, 15 September 2022 17:08 (two weeks ago) link


Jean Arthur Rank (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 September 2022 17:09 (two weeks ago) link

Fovever example of completely different sense of translated title is Herzog's The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser/Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle.

Jean Arthur Rank (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 15 September 2022 17:13 (two weeks ago) link

I'm quite sure there are better ways to stream this, but a friend sent me a Twitter link yesterday to Histoire(s) du cinéma (takes 30 seconds to cut-and-paste correct French spelling) in eight files:

They work using VLC player, and I'm able to watch them on my TV with a USB.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 September 2022 20:06 (two weeks ago) link

Watch it!

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 15 September 2022 20:46 (two weeks ago) link

Saw it at Toronto's Lightbox when it came out, but I've meaning to go back. I think one of the files might be without subtitles, though.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 September 2022 21:00 (two weeks ago) link

if you watch la chinoise first think of it as an affectionate but also quite sardonic portrait of the very extremely on-line

― mark s, Wednesday, September 14, 2022 12:41 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

except these people wear such pretty clothes

― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, September 14, 2022 12:42 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Yes, their successors are alive and active today, even among us. Especially among us. And that ending (the new school year begins, and the sons and daughters of the bourgeoisie put aside la lutte and return to their studies) continues as we speak.

Am I the only one here who's seen The Lost Record (Svevonius & Cabral, 2021, NOT RECOMMENDED unless you are a masochist)? I'll wager Ian S. is a conscious disciple of JLG.

Infanta Terrible (, Friday, 16 September 2022 00:29 (one week ago) link

decided to watch Godard's melancholic Germany Year 90 Nine Zero (1991) - always intrigued to see glimpses of Berlin from that moment (with a bit of Hegel thrown in)

— hannah proctor (@hhnnccnnll) September 16, 2022

xyzzzz__, Friday, 16 September 2022 10:12 (one week ago) link

Aw man, I somehow missed this news. RIP.

I think that my introduction to JLG via the "cool kids smoking cigarettes" era was in fact not the best way to be introduced - I liked it but wasn't passionate about it, and it took me ages to get around to the "all politics all the time" stuff, which blew me away. A big thing of suggesting entry points is what the person you're recommending to actually wants.

emil.y, Friday, 16 September 2022 10:46 (one week ago) link

yeah the pre-67 films are loved for a reason but they're not the reason i adore Godard's work

feudal vague (Noodle Vague), Friday, 16 September 2022 11:54 (one week ago) link

xyzzzz__, Friday, 16 September 2022 16:11 (one week ago) link

"its most basic apparatuses, had to be reconsidered from ground up, ruthlessly, and politically"

does this apply also to essays about film?

no they can stay completely unreconsidered

mark s, Friday, 16 September 2022 16:16 (one week ago) link

watched alphaville again and it's a hot mess.

koogs, Monday, 19 September 2022 17:00 (one week ago) link

Grabbed Brody's Godard bio from the library this morning.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2022 17:09 (one week ago) link

I wonder if I should mention a certain bias I detected in the Brody book, or let you read it first and see if you feel the same.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 19 September 2022 17:42 (one week ago) link

Well, I read him regularly lol so I wonder what that might be

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2022 17:55 (one week ago) link

watched the image book last night as it's up on mubi: might rewatch after reading up on it as gorgeous as it is visually it's p cryptic

jlg's narration tho lol what a voice, sub-sonic rumble and grumble soup-to-nuts

mark s, Monday, 19 September 2022 18:14 (one week ago) link

Not on MUBI US anymore :(

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 19 September 2022 22:36 (one week ago) link

But it is on Criterion:)

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 19 September 2022 22:38 (one week ago) link

You can get The Image Book on Kanopy.

clemenza, Monday, 19 September 2022 23:00 (one week ago) link

Think you and maybe Alfred are the only ones who still have that.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 19 September 2022 23:10 (one week ago) link

Are libraries passé?

clemenza, Monday, 19 September 2022 23:12 (one week ago) link

lots of libraries stopped paying for it (new york's did at least)

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Monday, 19 September 2022 23:15 (one week ago) link

I have it and am halfway through the 44 Frederick Wiseman films that are available with my Kanopy subscription

Dan S, Monday, 19 September 2022 23:17 (one week ago) link

(xpost) True enough--my local stopped, but I was able to sneak back in using my Toronto card (moved away three years ago).

clemenza, Monday, 19 September 2022 23:20 (one week ago) link

Kanopy depends on a library paying for a subscription and rights. My uni library, well.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 19 September 2022 23:22 (one week ago) link

Seem to recall that their pricing model made it unsustainable for most libraries.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 19 September 2022 23:23 (one week ago) link

Some kind of per use surcharge.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 19 September 2022 23:23 (one week ago) link

They need this guy to play some hardball with them.

clemenza, Monday, 19 September 2022 23:24 (one week ago) link

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 25 September 2022 10:05 (four days ago) link

The Brody bio was for the most part excellen.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 25 September 2022 12:07 (four days ago) link


Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 25 September 2022 12:07 (four days ago) link

Well played.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 September 2022 13:00 (four days ago) link

Boys chat.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 26 September 2022 08:55 (three days ago) link

Love that. OG title: “The Baby And The Dinosaur”!

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Monday, 26 September 2022 10:18 (three days ago) link

Saw band a part for the first time. So good. Favorite moment is the voice over lead up and strange walk down the street at night.

calstars, Monday, 26 September 2022 19:53 (three days ago) link

I had a strong feeling that the Brody book had a certain personal animus behind it, particularly in his writing about the later years; this could be entirely my projection, but Brody's sting at being rejected by Godard after a day of interviews on his 60s movies really comes across. So I wondered if that explained his emphasis on certain unpleasant topics like the treatment of the young girl in Sauve Qui Peut or the romantic pursuit of the actress in For Ever Mozart. It's still a good book, though.

All of this may have been emphasized for me because the Colin MacCabe biography, which came out earlier, is very reticent about "personal details". It's probably the only biography I can imagine that mentions the subject's suicide attempts in a footnote.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 26 September 2022 20:05 (three days ago) link

Hm! If anything, he's too forgiving of Godard's uh fascinations. He

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 September 2022 20:43 (three days ago) link

And his reporting on the SQP incident was pretty fair imo

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 September 2022 20:43 (three days ago) link

Brody very active in defending Godard's reputation on twitter.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 09:12 (two days ago) link

Watched about 15 mins. Once Godard gets going (and Daney shuts up) you can feel how important the materiality of the medium is for him. You know this, but I've seldom watched him try and articulate it. Like when he talks about the act of projection.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 27 September 2022 10:32 (two days ago) link

May read it but that quote is terrible.

Fredric Jameson writes on Jean-Luc Godard.

‘If cinema really is dying, then he died with it; or better still, it died with him.’

— New Left Review (@NewLeftReview) September 28, 2022

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 28 September 2022 14:33 (yesterday) link

Picture makes it look like Godard secretly killed cinema and is gloating.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 28 September 2022 14:51 (yesterday) link

Looks like that meme of the girl looking at the camera while the house burns lol

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 28 September 2022 14:56 (yesterday) link

DPRK in Cincinnati (WmC), Wednesday, 28 September 2022 15:15 (yesterday) link

Is that from his Ulysses project?

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 28 September 2022 15:27 (yesterday) link

everything fredric jameson writes is terrible

mark s, Wednesday, 28 September 2022 17:17 (yesterday) link

He's a fan of poptimism

Toshirō Nofune (The Seventh ILXorai), Wednesday, 28 September 2022 18:35 (yesterday) link

Was wondering.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 28 September 2022 18:43 (yesterday) link

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