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« More on Seduction | Main | Bad Cellphone Behavior »

November 03, 2006

Godard Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Jean-Luc Godard -- earth-shaking genius or perpetually annoying loose tooth?


godardyoung.jpg

The artist as a radical young pistol

What remains today ...


* Raoul Coutard, the cinematographer who shot many of the films of Godard's glory years, tells the Guardian that Jean-Luc was prone to temper tantrums. A talented boy, clearly, but also one seriously spoiled brat. (I've often wondered if Godard didn't spend the '60s on speed.) A funny passage from the very caustic Coutard:

After finishing Weekend in 1967, Godard made a dramatic announcement. "Jean-Luc rang and asked me to come over," Coutard says. "When I arrived at his apartment, he said to me, 'I've had a revelation. I am a Marxist-Leninist so I can no longer make films with capitalist money.' Actually, it is the leftists who rip you off. If you want to get paid, you work for a good capitalist company, like Gaumont."

* IMDB informs me that Coutard recently turned 82 years old. Godard himself will soon turn 76.

* Here's a 1973 talk with Godard. Always a peculiar guy, he has a deranged and robotic quality in this interview. Related to the fact that he was in the midst of his Marxist-Leninist phase?

* Here's some fascinating if choppy 1980s footage from an interview with Godard and his onetime muse / girlfriend Anna Karina. And doesn't she seem like a hyperdramatic handful! Even so, Karina looks rightly hurt and reproachful as Jean-Luc talks about their life and collaboration in rather callous terms. Finally she gets up in tears and leaves. Looking all too human -- like every guy who has ever stepped on a woman's toes, in fact -- Jean-Luc wears a frozen, defensive, and abashed expression. Asshole!

* I wrote about Godard's recent "In Praise of Love" here. This guy's overview of Godard's 1980s work isn't too bad.

* Anne Thompson points out that Godard's hard-to-find '60s classic "Two or Three Things I Know About Her" -- a film many Godard buffs consider his best -- will be screening in a new 35 mm print in Los Angeles in late December.

* Unrelated but what the heck: Anne links to this hilarious remix of Babs' immortal "STFU." If there's justice in the world, it'll be Streisand's biggest hit in years.

* If you've never had the pleasure but are curious about the Godard thang, let me suggest starting with this movie, and then moving on to this one. There's good reason for even squaresville film fans to taste-test Godard. His experiments, while often annoying, were often fascinating, beautiful, and moving too. And, highbrow and radical though he often is, he has been one of the most influential of filmmakers where popular culture is concerned. Quentin Tarantino, for instance, is a fan, and even named his own production company after this Godard movie. But exercise caution, please. Godard's movies can be like a seductive drug, one that feels blissful but that consumes your brain and transforms you into a werewolf. Filmbuffs have been known to lose entire years of their lives to puzzling out the mysteries of "JLG."

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at November 3, 2006




Comments

I agree with the Streisand thang. It should be a huge hit. I laughed my behind off first time through.

Posted by: yahmdallah on November 3, 2006 2:58 PM



Jean Seberg in Breathless: the realization that the impossibly romantic, doomed, young-American-with-aspirations-hippy-chick-in-old-jaded-Europe-thing is totally and unrecallably a thing of the past that can never be again; that that combination of longing and regret, that constellation, will never recur, is painful, so painful.

Posted by: ricpic on November 3, 2006 7:48 PM



And there's also this lovely movie, "Vivre Sa Vie", if lovely could really be a proper adjective to a Godard movie.

Posted by: rodrigo on November 3, 2006 9:54 PM



He looks a bit like Larry David.

Posted by: dan g. on November 4, 2006 8:51 AM



I love "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" playing softly in the background as Anna Karina walks off.

Great stuff!

Posted by: hoagie on November 4, 2006 8:58 AM






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