Jean Luc Godard

Tools    





Exterminate all rational thought.
How would you rank his movies?
I Wouldn't really. I feel that Breathless and Band of Outsiders are very good, Pierrot le Fou is a Masterpiece, and I HATE Weekend. Everything else kind of just falls in between.

Do you own any of his films?

I own the 5 Criterion Blu-rays:
Breathless
Band of Outsiders
Pierrot le Fou
Vivre Sa Vie
Weekend

although through HULU Plus and Netflix I have seen a lot of the others.

Is he the best French Director?

No. Personally I like Truffaut the best. I also really like Clouzot. I also think Clement, Bresson, and Cocteau were better. Don't get me wrong Godard is very good, I just feel his early catalog is all very similar, and his experimental stuff is crap.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



The topic is getting a little bit old but I wanted to maybe to revive it a little bit.

The first movie I saw of him was ‘’ Pierrot le Fou’’ (a.k.a Crazy Pete) and I totally fell in love with it. I cannot tell you how many times I watched it. I though this film was genius, very creative. I still think it’s a piece of art unique and achieved. It combines literature with a poetic narration, theater with the use of the decor to create illusions of time (I have one sequence shot in mind that I just love) and also painting with his references to others artists, by showing their art, but also with his composition and his use of the three primary colors ; blue, yellow and red. The whole film is made like a book, with chapters. Nowadays, I’ve seen some films doing in ( ex. : Antichrist - Lars Von Triers ) but I think he’s one of the first, if not the first to have done it. (You may correct me here, I did not did any researches of that subject) So yeah, I was in love. And when I love a director, I usually try to see everything he did, and in order of creation to see the evolution.

So I watched ; À bout the souffle (Breathless), Vivre sa vie ; film en douze tableaux ( my life to live) , Le mépris (Contempt), Bande à part (Band of Outsiders), Masculin Féminin (Masculine-Feminine), Une femme mariée ; suite de fragments d’un film..., La chinoise, Made in U.S.A, Le petit soldat (the little soldier), Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every man for himself), Je vous salue Marie (Hail Mary) and Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere)

And after seeing all theses films, I just couldn’t go on anymore. The Iast ones I saw of him were a very painful experiences for me. I was continuing because I wanted to know if he was going to get a little better with the time, but he DID NOT and today, just the idea of watching one of Godard’s film make me sick.

I mean how can a director be that a caricature of himself ? It’s always the same idea ; a love story between a young boy and girl, the boy is very philosophical and says a lot of stupid sentences that seem smart and the girl is a stupid but beautiful creature, as mature as a child. For real, just for the representation of girls in his movies, I could hate him. The themes are always the same but the execution also. I always joke about how everybody could make a Godard film ; Put a actor in front of a wall, shoot him so he take one third of the wall (1/3) and the other 2/3 are blue, and then use a sentence that look profound with a lot of complicated words and BAM there you are.

Okay, I lied when I said I disliked all the others movies I saw. I think ‘’ Ici et ailleurs ‘’ was interesting and ‘’ Une femme mariée ; suite de fragments d’un film’’ also was well made, a lot of interesting big shots and I liked the three dimensions given to the situation by the three protagonists. But that’s it.

Even if you say that Godard created a style ; the New Wave and that he should be praised for that, I don’t totally agree. I think Francois Truffaut also is a big part of that Nouvelle Vague Française and he did it with a lot more humility and talent in my opinion. (If you understand french, I suggest you to see this video of him talking about his work : I cannot post link yet <.< But you can write to me, and I'll give it to you) Just for directing actors Truffaut was a lot better. When I saw ‘’ Les quatre cents coups ‘’ (the 400 blows), I was impressed how Jean-Pierre Léaud was a good actor even if he was just a kid. I understood that Godard was just not able to direct him correctly and that’s why he never gave such a good performance in any of Godard’s films.

As I can see in the previous post, he doesn't have a lot of fan here. Maybe in France, I don't know...
PS : I just LOVE Bergman quote!



Masculin Feminin is one of his least talked about films here and I honestly don't know why. I think more people should see it, especially those who dig his work but have seen his popular stuff mostly. For me it's much better than some of his more well-known films (Breathless, Pierrot, I'm looking at you)

It might even make my 60s list, who knows



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
A lot of silent films is divided into chapters.

Venom and Eternity and Lettrist Movement was probably a huge inspiration for Godard, but he of course only took some things from it. I've seen 12 Godard films and I don't dislike any of them. My least favourite is Le petit soldat I rated
. My favourite is Vivre sa Vie I gave
. He made both of these AND Contempt I give 4.5 in one year- 1963. That's insane. Histoires of Cinema is such an inspiring work of art. I want to see the faces of all the people who thought they are getting into some sort of your average documentary about movies throughout the decades. Watch it now. It's an order.
__________________
In the strictest sense lesbians can't have sex at all period.



Gangster Rap is Shakespeare for the Future
I saw In Praise of Love the other day. Godard has always had a natural talent for composition and color, which is in full effect in this film. His decision to shoot the past in color and on video while the present in B&W film is in quite stark opposition to the standard narrative of the historical representation. I feel like this view is heavily derived from a kind of internal, introverted person. As someone who is more reserved and less active in daily life, I see my memory being where I really realize moments and the beauty that exists in my life. Only through internal reflection do I ever feel like I'm understanding and living my life. At the same time, there's not the clarity of the present, which is why video makes perfect sense, as well as the color saturation. This imagined and analyzed past is far from accurate, but it's certainly beautiful. Yo I'm not making sense, I should sleep and stuff.
__________________
Mubi



Gangster Rap is Shakespeare for the Future
Even if you say that Godard created a style ; the New Wave and that he should be praised for that, I don’t totally agree. I think Francois Truffaut also is a big part of that Nouvelle Vague Française and he did it with a lot more humility and talent in my opinion. (If you understand french, I suggest you to see this video of him talking about his work : I cannot post link yet <.< But you can write to me, and I'll give it to you) Just for directing actors Truffaut was a lot better. When I saw ‘’ Les quatre cents coups ‘’ (the 400 blows), I was impressed how Jean-Pierre Léaud was a good actor even if he was just a kid. I understood that Godard was just not able to direct him correctly and that’s why he never gave such a good performance in any of Godard’s films.
I think Truffaut's a minor figure really, there are at least half a dozen others in the Nouvelle Vague and Left Bank cinema I'd consider more important and interesting than Truffaut. If the Nouvelle Vague were The Beatles, I think it'd be:

John Lennon - Jean-Luc Godard
Paul McCartney - Francois Truffaut
George Harrison - Eric Rohmer
Ringo Starr - Jacques Demy

Not the best metaphor, and doesn't really illustrate my point, but I like the interpretations that come from it.



Unreliable Narrator
I'd have to admit that I am warmed up to Godard's works over the years. Speaking of Histoire(s) du cinema, it's still better than Mark Cousins' Story of Film.



I like this quote from Jim Emerson.

...the initial reviews from Cannes [for Film Socialisme] are, incredibly, the same ones he’s been getting his entire career — based in part on assumptions that Godard means to communicate something but is either too damned perverse or inept to do so. Instead, the guy keeps making making these crazy, confounded, chopped-up, mixed-up, indecipherable movies! Possibly just to torture us. Many approach the films themselves as though they are puzzles designed to frustrate (and to eventually be “solved”), then they blame Godard for not doing a better job of solving them himself because they’re too hard.



Truffaut is lightweight. Godard's film, Two or Three Things I Know About Her (one of my favorite films, as well), is arguably one of his best. However, I think the Left Bank was more interesting conceptually and narratively: Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, Jean-Pierre Melville, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Marguerite Duras. Marker, especially, was integral.





I just watched Band of Outsider, another great Godard film that I would be interested in discussing with you guys. An interesting departure from the big money, 'international' feeling Contempt. Gone are the big stars and epic elements that made Contempt so powerful, here is a low budget black and white crime film. It feels just as personal though, I think a lot of this is down to the narrative, with Godard narrating and clearly loving his characters, each beautifully painted and displayed to us as different human beings.

There is still a lot of normal Godard stuff that makes the film unique and not so straightforward to some audiences, political commentary is slight hinted at, and there is a heavy dose of literature and culture infused into the film that makes it all the more fascinating. Contempt felt like a Greek epic and Breathless felt sometimes like a Shakespearean tragedy, with fate eventually catching up with the protagonist, the same is evident here, as once again Godard combines such themes with an anti-American (yet sometimes the opposite) story.

In the English class the teacher asks the students to translate Shakespeare as she reads it out in French, back into English. I can see that as a metaphor for the film as a whole. Godard has taken parts of different works, such as the writing of Shakespeare and the films of America, and translated them into his own unique style, the result may not be as smooth and precise as what was initially there, it's not completely straightforward or without change in its translation, but the power of the elements combined can be felt.

There is a lot more to write about the film, on surface level I would say that along with Breathless it is probably the most accessible Godard film that I have seen so far. It is a film that pays great respect to its characters and little attention to the 'heist' for most the part, so when it finally comes, it is quite shocking to see how the characters respond. There is a weird sense of humour throughout, many parts leave you with a smile on your face and the whole thing is quite uplifting, there are many famous scenes all which I found to be wonderful: the dance and the minute's silence in particular.

Another quick note: Godard makes the most awesome title sequences. His deconstructed credits of Pierrot Le Fou are brilliant in the way they foreshadow the story to be told, and from the moment I put this on and saw the fast paced flickering between faces with static white text to a lovely optimistic song, I knew I was going to love this film.



I’m just the espresso
Dude, I am so glad you liked it. I completely agree about there being a weird sense of humor throughout the film. All in all, it felt kind of sad yet at times you find yourself smiling. I also felt it was very quotable in a sense. Question: would you be able to pick a favorite character?



Dude, I am so glad you liked it. I completely agree about there being a weird sense of humor throughout the film. All in all, it felt kind of sad yet at times you find yourself smiling. I also felt it was very quotable in a sense. Question: would you be able to pick a favorite character?
I'm not sure. Arthur is probably the most complex and one I felt most sorry for, and you can't help but love Anna Karina, but I would probably say Franz. Quite understated and professional, he tries to hide his emotions and act 'cold' unlike Arthur, I thought his character was very cool and perhaps my favourite, but it's close with all of them.



Out of all the Godard films I've seen, Band a part was the only one I thought was totally pointless. I feel as though Godard always has something to say but that wasn't the case with this film, even his style which is present in everything else I've seen from him was missing here.

Watch Masculin Feminin, it's infinitely better



Out of all the Godard films I've seen, Band a part was the only one I thought was totally pointless. I feel as though Godard always has something to say but that wasn't the case with this film, even his style which is present in everything else I've seen from him was missing here.

Watch Masculin Feminin, it's infinitely better
I think that's harsh. Just because it's not as radical and obvious as some of his other works in terms of being a political or social commentary, I don't think it deserves a low rating. I guess you were just expecting something different. I thought it was a whole lot of fun and as I said it still has many of the usual Godard elements and I like how he infuses American culture with literature (Shakespeare) like a poem. I don't really see how his style was missing, but oh well

And yeah, I'll get to that eventually. I definitely want to watch more. I watched some of Alphaville ages ago but stopped for some reason and forgot to go back, so I might watch that next.



I will get to King Lear eventually, after I have explored a few more of his Sixties work, as I am aware that his work is constantly evolving. It's unsurprising that he made such a film though as I think all his films I've seen share certain Shakespearean elements in the way the stories unfold in an inevitable, tragic fashion.



Gangster Rap is Shakespeare for the Future
I will get to King Lear eventually, after I have explored a few more of his Sixties work, as I am aware that his work is constantly evolving. It's unsurprising that he made such a film though as I think all his films I've seen share certain Shakespearean elements in the way the stories unfold in an inevitable, tragic fashion.
Yeah, I think that Godard is a modernist who wants to be a classicist, so he really enjoys doing classical material, but it comes out as incredibly modern, which brings forth an interesting dialectic between both materials. Richard Brody considers King Lear to be one of the best films ever made, as well as a hardcore cinephile I know, but their tastes can sometimes be pretty bonkers as well.



I think that's harsh. Just because it's not as radical and obvious as some of his other works in terms of being a political or social commentary, I don't think it deserves a low rating.
No, I didn't mean that, maybe I should have said "something to show" instead, that is what I wanted to say

I guess you were just expecting something different.
It's true, I was expecting a stylish heist film. Instead I got a straightforward and uninvolving story with mostly uninteresting characters. It's also pretty bland visually, and it lacks everything I find interesting about Godard

Long story short, for me it has neither style nor substance



Yeah, I think that Godard is a modernist who wants to be a classicist, so he really enjoys doing classical material, but it comes out as incredibly modern, which brings forth an interesting dialectic between both materials.
I don't think you've seen Band of Outsiders, but this is a screenshot from the film:




No, I didn't mean that, maybe I should have said "something to show" instead, that is what I wanted to say



It's true, I was expecting a stylish heist film. Instead I got a straightforward and uninvolving story with mostly uninteresting characters. It's also pretty bland visually, and it lacks everything I find interesting about Godard

Long story short, for me it has neither style nor substance
I really don't think you're understanding the meaning of the entire film. It was an experiment to prove one of Godard's most famous quotes; "All you need to make a film is a girl and a gun." This film is a manual, it explains exactly how to make a film, it teaches Godard's own film theory (classique = moderne) and shows style through simplicity.
__________________
p e a c e a n d l o v e : - )