The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard
Publication Year: 2013
The artistic impact of Jean-Luc Godard, whose career in cinema has spanned over fifty years and yielded a hundred or more discrete works in different media cannot be overestimated, not only on French and other world cinemas, but on fields as diverse as television, video art, gallery installation, philosophy, music, literature, and dance.
The Legacies of Jean-Luc Godard marks an initial attempt to map the range and diversity of Godard’s impact across these different fields. It contains reassessments of key films like Vivre sa vie and Passion as well as considerations of Godard’s influence over directors like Christophe Honoré. Contributors look at Godard’s relation to philosophy and influence over film philosophy through reference to Wittgenstein, Deleuze, and Cavell, and show how Godard’s work in cinema interacts with other arts, such as painting, music, and dance. They suggest that Godard’s late work makes important contributions to debates in memory and Holocaust Studies.
The volume will appeal to a non-specialist audience with its discussions of canonical films and treatment of themes popular within film studies programs such as cinema and ethics. But it will also attract academic specialists on Godard with its chapters on recent works, including Dans le noir du temps (2002) and Voyage(s) en utopie (2006), interventions in long-running academic debates (Godard, the Holocaust, and anti- Semitism), and treatment of rarely discussed areas of Godard’s work (choreographed movement).
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Series: Film and Media Studies
Title Page, About the Series, Copyright
Jean-Luc Godard has received considerable public attention in the past few years for a number of reasons: the widely publicized release of Godard’s new feature film, Film socialisme (2010), which makes him one of the very few remaining New Wave directors still active (following the recent deaths of both Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer); Godard’s 80th birthday and his...
Douglas Morrey, Christina Stojanova, Nicole Côté
We are grateful to Dr. Sheila Petty, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts (University of Regina), for her unwavering help and encouragement; to Dr. Christine Ramsay, the former Head of the Department of Media Production and Studies (U of R), for her invaluable financial and moral support; and to Dr. Garry Sherbert, former Acting Director of the Humanities...
Few filmmakers have had such pervasive and lasting influence, across artistic and intellectual fields, as Jean-Luc Godard. With a career in cinema spanning over fifty years and a hundred or more distinct works in numerous media, Godard has had an impact that cannot be overestimated, not only on the evolution of cinema worldwide, but on creative fields as...
Part I: Godardian Legacy in Film, Music, and Dance
1. Jean-Luc Godard, Christophe Honoré, and the Legacy of the New Wave in French Cinema
The films of Christophe Honoré perhaps provide the most obvious example of the influence of Jean-Luc Godard and the New Wave in contemporary French cinema—at least in his most internationally successful films Dans Paris (2006) and Les Chansons d’amour (2007). Unsurprisingly, film critics in France were not slow to draw comparisons to the New...
2. Jean-Luc Godard: Dans le noir du temps (2002)—The “Filming” of a Musical Form
The only projects in which Jean-Luc Godard made primary or even
exclusive use of a single pre-existing work of music (or a movement from
such a work) as a film score are his four film-essays Lettre à Freddy Buache
(1982), De l’origine du XXIe siècle (2000), Liberté et patrie and Dans le noir du
temps (both 2002).
Dans le noir du temps was Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville’s concluding...
3. Jean-Luc Godard and Contemporary Dance: The Judson Dance Theater Runs Across Breathless
The following essay is an experiment in interdisciplinary criticism, towards importing a vocabulary for figure movement on film from the language of dance and performance art. It is inspired by a desire to describe the striking autonomy and clarity of figure movement in Jean-Luc Godard’s films, a quality that seems to me as much a signature of Godard’s direction..
Part II: Godardian Politics of Representation: Memory/History
4. The Representation of Factory Work in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Reaching the Impossible Shore
To write about Jean-Luc Godard’s relationship with factory work and its representation is first to explore a paradox. Of a hundred or so works, including moving pictures, films, videos, and television programs, representing over one hundred hours of projection, the only Godardian works devoted to the subject are two fiction films, namely Tout va bien (1972)...
5. Godard, Spielberg, the Muselmann, and the Concentration Camps
In a 1997 television interview with the popular French journalist Paul Amar, Godard is shown a demo of a filmmaking simulation computer game released under the title Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair. When asked whether Spielberg is still a filmmaker or if he has now become a businessman, Godard responds by reciting from memory a short poem by...
6. “The Obligations of Memory”: Godard’s Underworld Journeys
Russell J.A. Kilbourn
In his Village Voice review, J. Hoberman suggests that Godard’s Éloge de l’amour (In Praise of Love, 2001) can be seen “as a fragmentary remake of Jean Cocteau’s Orphée —a movie about the attempt to retrieve a lost love that haunts Alphaville  and is itself haunted by France’s German occupation.”1 In this essay I have space only to sketch a reading...
7. Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma Brings the Dead Back to the Screen
The monumental film Histoire(s) du cinéma opens the way to the final period in Godard’s works. The film, four hours and twenty-five minutes in length, comprises eight chapters containing images that by and large predate the production. It is a work of montage and mixing. Everything—photography, painting, engraving, sculpture, literature, archives...
Part III: Godardian Legacy in Philosophy
8. Jean-Luc Godard and Ludwig Wittgenstein in New Contexts
In an interview for New York Times Magazine, given in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, Jean-Luc Godard voiced his perennial anxiety “about the invasion of technology and false memory, created by the media to replicate or explicate the past,”1 stating: “I suppose that’s a feeling many people in the world have today—a kind of incoherent rage against all things...
9. Godard, Schizoanalysis, and the Immaculate Conception of the Frame
In an article on montage written in 1956 for Cahiers du cinéma, Jean-Luc Godard made an observation that has been quoted many times in many contexts: “If direction is a look, montage is a heartbeat … what one seeks to foresee in space, the other seeks in time…. Cutting on a look is … to bring out the soul under the spirit, the passion behind the intrigue, to make...
10. The “Hidden Fire” of Inwardness: Cavell, Godard, and Modernism
Glen W. Norton
The following is a consideration of Jean-Luc Godard’s contribution to modernist cinematic practice in the early 1960s. My concern is not only with Godard’s reinvention of cinematic possibilities via reflexivity and intertextuality but more especially with his modernist skepticism regarding the cinematic depiction of inwardness. In short, inwardness...
11. The Romance of the Intellectual in Godard: A Love–Hate Relationship
Godard’s signature method of blending documentary and fiction has yielded many fascinating results, including a cinematic deconstruction of the figure of the intellectual and his or her vocation. This Nouvelle Vague filmmaker repeatedly used real-life public intellectuals to interact with fictional characters in some of his most politicized films, like Brice Parain...
Part IV: Formalist Legacies: Narratives and Exhibitions
12. Principles of Parametric Construction in Jean-Luc Godard’s Passion
In the penultimate chapter to Narration in the Fiction Film, David Bordwell undertakes to analyze a set of films whose stylistic constructions adhere to a delimited mode of film narration, termed “parametric narration.” He defines parametric films as those in which the “stylistic system creates patterns distinct from the demands of the syuzhet system [or...
13. “A Place of Active Judgment”: Parametric Narration in the Work of Jean-Luc Godard and Ian Wallace
In a recent interview, Ian Wallace concisely identified the goal of his photo-collage paintings: “they are a place of active judgment.”1 An internationally recognized member of the “Vancouver School” of photo-based art, Wallace has developed a practice over the past three decades that combines monochrome painting and documentary photography. While the...
14. Godard’s Utopia(s) or the Performance of Failure
After four years of intensive labour, after much talk and many postponements, Jean-Luc Godard’s long-awaited Pompidou exhibition Voyage(s) en utopie, JLG, 1946–2006, À la recherche d’un théorème perdu opened on May 11, 2006, and was met with skepticism and dismay even among his friends in the milieu. Antoine de Baecque would write...
About the Contributors
Michel Cadé is Professor Emeritus of Contemporary History at the University of Perpignan Via Domitia, and President of the Cinémathèque euro-régionale at the Jean-Vigo Institute in Perpignan, France. In 2010, he edited an anthology entitled La Retirada en images mouvantes, which examines the cinematic representations of the largest forced migration in Europe...