À bout du souffle
September 13, 2022 2:40 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by From Bklyn at 3:02 AM on September 13


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posted by Silvery Fish at 3:04 AM on September 13


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posted by octothorpe at 3:20 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


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posted by GenjiandProust at 3:25 AM on September 13


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posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 3:28 AM on September 13


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posted by juv3nal at 3:54 AM on September 13


Recently watched Breathless. It's not an "easy" watch. It's not the most exciting movie I've seen. But who I saw that it was released in NINETEEN SIXTY (1960) I finally understood its impact. It feels almost like an art film from ten years later. Its influence on other film makers is gigantic. Astounding that the production, technique, style, editing, shooting and dialog of that movie was being put together at the end of the 1950s.

I'm no student of cinema, but Godard was ahead of his time and hugely influential.

RIP.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:57 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


Yesterday it would be easy to say that Godard was the most influential living director and you'd probably have been correct.
posted by octothorpe at 4:14 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]




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posted by dannyboybell at 4:33 AM on September 13


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It’s been about twenty years since I saw it, but what struck me about Alphaville back in the early years of this century, is that it didn’t feel as hopelessly dated as contemporary science fiction films of the mid-sixties. Godard let the voiceover do the world-building, encouraging the viewers do the imagining, and it worked a treat. I can’t think of another film that did anything similar.
posted by Kattullus at 5:00 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Quel est le privilège des morts?
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posted by bouvin at 5:06 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


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posted by Etrigan at 5:11 AM on September 13


I can’t think of another film that did anything similar.

La Jetée?
posted by juv3nal at 5:16 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


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posted by homerica at 5:20 AM on September 13


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posted by detachd at 5:32 AM on September 13


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posted by gentlyepigrams at 5:40 AM on September 13


Recently watched Breathless. It's not an "easy" watch. It's not the most exciting movie I've seen.

I find it captivating. I was actually planning on making a post about Jean Seberg, but just never really got around to it.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:46 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]




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posted by Thorzdad at 5:50 AM on September 13


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posted by Mitheral at 6:10 AM on September 13


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posted by valkane at 6:26 AM on September 13


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posted by briank at 6:27 AM on September 13


He was the greatest director of my lifetime. I understand why it's his movies of the '60s that are best remembered and featured in the obits, but (after the brief Maoist period of the early '70s) his later movies can be just as great. For what it's worth, my favorites of the earlier movies are Breathless (LH), Contempt (LH), Alphaville, Two or Three Things I Know About Her (maybe my very favorite -- certainly the most Godardian of the early movies; LH), and La Chinoise (LH); of the later ones, Every Man for Himself (the movie that made me love Godard -- I saw it right after I moved to NYC, and when I came out I was so blown away that I bought a ticket and went back in for the next showing), King Lear, New Wave (LH), and probably Keep Your Right Up and In Praise of Love (I haven't seen them in a long time but remember them fondly). There are still a few I haven't seen, and I'm desperately sorry there won't be any more.

I highly recommend two books, Colin MacCabe's Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at Seventy (brilliant on the family and cultural background, a bit perfunctory on the actual movies) and Richard Brody's Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, one of the best movie books I've ever read. And if you like Two or Three Things as much as I do, you'll want to dig up a copy of Alfred Guzzetti's Two or Three Things I Know about Her: Analysis of a Film by Godard, which has the spoken text in French and English, a detailed commentary, and lots of screenshots.

Thanks for the post, chavenet.
posted by languagehat at 6:44 AM on September 13 [29 favorites]


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posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:00 AM on September 13


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posted by acb at 7:03 AM on September 13


Le Mépris is one of my favorite film experiences.

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posted by Slothrup at 7:06 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that roundup languagehat. Symbolically, this feels a bit like the real end of the 20th century. I'm also reminded of the scene in Agnes Varda's Faces Places when Godard stands her up...
posted by latkes at 7:13 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


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posted by gwint at 7:25 AM on September 13


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posted by mumimor at 7:29 AM on September 13


The original NYT review of Breathless is hilarious. The author is overwhelmed by Godard's skill but can't cope with the "sordid...gross indecencies" (?!?).

I'm not going to lie, I'm more an admirer of the technique than the substance, but certainly still a giant.
posted by praemunire at 7:30 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 7:31 AM on September 13


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posted by pepper bird at 7:33 AM on September 13


Please take a moment to enjoy this video, with Stereo Total covering the Gainsbourg classic 'Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais', set to a photo montage of Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina from their time together. And with Alex Chilton on backup.
posted by gimonca at 7:33 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


The original NYT review of Breathless is hilarious. The author is overwhelmed by Godard's skill but can't cope with the "sordid...gross indecencies" (?!?).

That was Bosley Crowther, a notorious stick-in-the-mud critic who ended up getting fired a few years later after publishing three negative reviews of Bonny and Clyde, a film heavily influenced by Breathless.
posted by octothorpe at 7:36 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


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posted by estherbester at 7:40 AM on September 13


Of what I've seen, I mostly liked his B&W films and I mostly didn't like his colour films. At his best he's totally awesome and at his worst he's a bad parody of pretentious. Definitely willing to risk creating art that his audience might not enjoy or even understand! And he even got funding for them.
posted by ovvl at 7:42 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


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posted by no mind at 7:43 AM on September 13


I'm also reminded of the scene in Agnes Varda's Faces Places when Godard stands her up...

Which brings up a theme that runs through everything I've read, listened, or watched about him: he was often an asshole.

I wish we'd stop treating that as funny, or bravely iconoclastic, or just as a price we have to pay. People can do better. We can expect better of them. You can be kind to the people around you *and* be an artist, both! (See--to all appearances--Agnes Varda.)

He made some movies I like a lot! But he could have done better. I think his art and his life and the lives of the people around him would have been better for it.
posted by floppyroofing at 7:48 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


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posted by Wobbuffet at 7:54 AM on September 13


I was hoping that Varda would be the last person standing from the French New Wave but alas.
posted by octothorpe at 8:27 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


In Which Brows Held High Analyzes Jean-Luc Godard's King Lear And Concludes That Shakespeare, Godard, and Cannon Films Do Not Mix, except maybe.
posted by dannyboybell at 8:37 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


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here's a wild and naive wish. In homage, Marvel makes a superhero movie in which all of the action sequences are distinctly Godardian. It fails, of course, at the box office, yet somehow, in some strange way that only the French have a word for, it infects the culture worldwide. People give up on the whole ridiculous charade, stop paying good money for big absurd spectacles that aim only to trap them in illusion, learn look elsewhere for their dreams and reflections.
posted by philip-random at 8:47 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


here's a wild and naive wish. In homage, Marvel makes a superhero movie in which all of the action sequences are distinctly Godardian

Les Godardians de la Galaxie...
posted by chavenet at 9:01 AM on September 13 [19 favorites]


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an absolute legend. Breathless and Ici et ailleurs are monumental, as with many of his films.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:05 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


FiN DE CiNEMA
posted by Gerald Bostock at 9:08 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:46 AM on September 13


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posted by allthinky at 10:10 AM on September 13


I've never seen anything quite like these two scenes from Pierrot Le Fou.
posted by ferdydurke at 10:23 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


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posted by evilDoug at 10:47 AM on September 13




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Godard was certainly one of the great filmmakers of cinema. I've seen 33 of his films and no matter how many films I have seen or how many times I have seen them they continue to delight, challenge and confound in equal measure primarily because he was an uncompromising filmmaker. Self reflexive, intellectual, philosophical, ironic, anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist even anti-cinema at times but always intelligent and worth engaging with and debating, discussing and figuring out.

One quote by Godard and a few by others.

'As a critic, I thought of myself as a filmmaker. Today I still think of myself as a critic, and in a sense I am, more than ever before. Instead of writing criticism, I make a film but the critical dimension is subsumed. I think of myself as an essayist.." (Interview from Cahiers du Cinéma, December 1963)

"The films that followed Vivre sa vie are one of the greatest runs of work anyone has had in film... 13 films in 8 years." David Thompson (Sight & Sound, July 2000)

"From Breathless (1959) through Weekend (1968), Godard reinvented cinema. There are no analogies—imagine Faulkner’s eight-novel run, The Sound and the Fury (1929) through The Wild Palms (1939), as a cultural intervention with the pow of Warhol’s “silver” period or the three Dylan-goes-electric LPs." J Hoberman [Village Voice, 10/2/07)

"[Contempt] is the greatest work of art produced in post-war Europe" Colin McCabe (Sight & Sound, September 1996]

"...no other filmmaker has so consistently made me feel like a stupid a**" Manny Farber 1968 (Movies)
posted by Rashomon at 11:19 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


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posted by adekllny at 11:33 AM on September 13


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posted by talking leaf at 11:45 AM on September 13


He is an axiom of the cinema. What an astonishing body of work. Few other filmmakers have tested the medium like JLG.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:06 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


'I DON'T LIKE Godard' is a statement one frequently hears at Film festivals.

Now, I don't like Godard too. But then, 'like' is a word I seldom use to describe my feeling about truly modern artists. Do we really like Pablo Picasso, or Claude-Michel Schönberg, or Eugène Ionesco, or Alain Robbe-Grillet? We are variously provoked and stimulated by them, and our appreciation of them is wholly on an intellectual level. Liking suggests an easy involvement of the senses, a spontaneous 'taking to', which I doubt if the modern artist even claims from his public.

Godard has been both dismissed summarily, and praised to the skies, and the same films have provoked opposite reactions. This is inevitable when a director consistently demolishes sacred conventions, while at the same time packing his films with obviously striking things.
-Satyajit Ray
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:08 PM on September 13 [10 favorites]


The trailer for Weekend.
posted by gimonca at 12:27 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


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posted by sammyo at 12:40 PM on September 13


You know I like Godard and I'll miss him. I think for me what I like best is that he thought of cinema as art and made a strong case for this with his films, especially his later highly personal films. Especially in this era of extruded studio product dominating the cultural landscape its nice to revisit say Alphaville or Weekend and have a hearty Gallic laugh and remember that films can be more.

This short, In the Darkness of Time from 2001, encapsulates a lot of his themes if someone is looking for something short (its 10 minutes or so).
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:53 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


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posted by Rash at 1:22 PM on September 13


This one hurts. I saw Masculin Feminine as a college freshman almost 50 years ago and it completely opened my mind about what film can do, about what art can do, and to this day I can remember how I felt leaving the theatre. I've seen almost everything available since and own several of his films. Godard is one of those artists I am not rationale about. Based on what he gave me, I love everything's he done.
posted by pasici at 1:39 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


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posted by Pendragon at 3:32 PM on September 13


If you speak French: Jean-Luc Godard en 9 minutes, from the wonderful arte.fr Blow-up series, is a moving tribute made almost exactly 5 years ago.
posted by maggiemaggie at 5:55 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


He was my wife's favorite. We're thinking of renaming our cat, Elvis Pretzel, to either Godard or Pierrot le Fou.
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posted by signal at 6:11 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:28 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Thinking of Jean-Luc Godard and his crew running in and out of Paris buildings to shoot bits of Alphaville.

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posted by doctornemo at 7:55 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


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