BAND OF OUTSIDERS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)

Jean-Luc Cinema Godard’s Bande à part—I am quoting his name as it appears in the opening credits—finds the world’s most famous postwar filmmaker struggling to free himself from the tyranny of plot. There is a skeletal narrative of sorts, having to do with Odile and two guys and their planned robbery of money at the […]

JLG/JLG (Jean-Luc Godard, 1994)

“The past is never dead. It hasn’t even passed yet.” The above lines, which appear as text in Jean-Luc Godard’s soulful “self-portrait,” JLG/JLG—autoportrait de décembre, approximate lines from William Faulkner’s play Requiem for a Nun. Godard’s elegiac mood marks, not bridges, discrepancies between himself and the rest of creation. Correlative to these are spiritual gaps […]

COMMENT ÇA VA? (Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miéville, 1976)

Twice during Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville’s very beautiful How’s It Going?, we see graffiti on an outside wall consisting of a swastika and a circle—an expression of fascism. Or is it? The circle, on top, makes a target out of the swastika; this, then, is anti-fascist. But this presumes that the swastika preceded the […]

PRAVDA (Jean-Luc Godard et al., 1970)

Pierrot le fou’s (1965) disembodied voices of Ferdinand and Marianne, the transient spirit of romance, have become the politicized, revolutionary voices of Vladimir and Rosa, as in Lenin and Luxemburg, in Pravda, by Jean-Luc Godard and the filmmaking cooperative to which he belonged at the time, Groupe Dziga Vertov. Vladimir and Rosa observe and discuss […]

SEE YOU AT MAO (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Henri Roger, 1969)

“Work isn’t a part of [the laborer’s] life [in a bourgeois/capitalistic system]; it’s a sacrifice of his life, and is sold to the highest bidder.” “There’s a science of the image. Let’s begin to build it. Here are a few pointers: materialism, dialectics; documentary, fiction; wars of nationalism, people’s war . . .” See You […]