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Godard on Godard

Read any good books lately?

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Godard on Godard

Postby ChiO » May 9th, 2009, 2:38 pm

After 30 years of reading about what Godard wrote and why it matters, I finally read some of what Godard actually wrote. Godard on Godard: Critical Writings by Jean-Luc Godard (1968; Eng. translation 1972) collects some of his writing and interviews from 1956 to 1967. Alternating between crisp clear bluntness and the indecipherable, but always challenging and provocative, he did impact discourse on film whether one agrees with him (the adoring references to Murnau, Chaplin, Renoir, Welles, Ophuls, Ray, Fuller) or disagrees (vicious denunciations of Duvivier and Carne). In general, I found his critical essays to be more illuminating than his writing and interviews relating to his own films. (It's so tempting to say that maybe he didn't understand them either.)

For those who enjoy lists (I'm a sucker for them), included are his annual Top 10 Films of the Year (1956-65), Top 10 American Sound Films (through 1963), and Top 10 French Films since the Liberation.
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Re: Godard on Godard

Postby charliechaplinfan » May 9th, 2009, 4:11 pm

Chio, I've discovered French film in a big way in recent years. My taste spreads from the 1920's to 1960's, I don't tend to watch many films beyond this point. I love Vigo, Duvivier, Carne, Clair, Renoir, Clouzot, Truffaut, Chabrol, Demy and some Malle and Bresson. Probably my favorite directors out of them are Carne, Clair, Renoir and Truffaut. I've tried Godard, A Bout De Souffle, I do like that, in it I can see many other films that came after. Vivre Se Vie I liked to. Pierre Le Fou lost my interest completely and when I saw Weekend listed in the ten best films ever and it is just the worst movie I have ever seen. I just don't get it.

When I've tried to find books about French cinema they tend to focus on the New Wave onwards. Will you explain to me what it is about him, I can't seem to understand what he's about?
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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