Tuesday 21 September 2010

In Praise of Godard - A Short Film

 Jean-Luc Godard said that the best form of film criticism was making films. Here I have made a (very) short tribute in expectation of a review of Film Socialisme to be presented in the second best form of film criticism.

0:03 - Music - Fly-By-Night by Anna Meredith. Reprised at 0:29, 1:46
0:06 - Image from Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895) by Auguste and Louis Lumiere
0:13 - Image of Gloria Grahame from In a Lonely Place (1950) by Nicholas Ray
0:14 - Image of Bulle Ogier from L'Amour Fou (1969) by Jacques Rivette
0:15 to 0:25 - Audio clip from Le Petit Soldat (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard
0:17 - Image from Je Vous Salue Sarajevo (1993) by Jean-Luc Godard
0:19 - Image from Je Vous Salue Marie (1985) by Jean-Luc Godard
0:21 to 0:27 - Images of Laetitia Carcano from Le Diable, Probablement (1977) by Robert Bresson
0:29 - Haywain by Hieronymus Bosch - 1485 to 1490
0:31 - Image of Brigitte Bardot from Le Mepris (Contempt) (1963) by Jean-Luc Godard. Returns at 1:06 
0:48 - Sound of cheque being ripped from Tout Va Bien (1972) by Jean-Luc Godard 
0:48 - Image of Nathalie Baye from Detective (1985) by Jean-Luc Godard 
0:49 to 1:06 - Audio clip from JLG/JLG (1994) by Jean-Luc Godard. The voice of Jean-Luc Godard
0:59 - Image of Aude Amiot from Helas Pour Moi (1993) by Jean-Luc Godard
1:07 - Audio clip from King Lear (1987) by Jean-Luc Godard. Possibly the voice of Molly Ringwald. 
1:08 to 1:56 - Music - Theme de Camille by Georges Delerue from Le Mepris 
1:09 - Floor Mosaic of man from Greek comic theatre from Ancient Israelite seaport site of Dor. Made between 400 and 100 BC.
1:20 to 1:32 - Audio clip of honking traffic from Sunrise (1927) by F.W.Murnau
1:28 - Images from Detective 
1:35 - Image from Helas Pour Moi 
1:36 - Nude Girl (1893) by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. The image has been unfortunately squeezed. Here it is as it should be : http://artmodel.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/toulouse_lautrec82.jpg
1:40 - Image of Laurence Masliah from Helas Pour Moi 
1:48 - Image of Jean Seberg from A Bout de Souffle (1960) by Jean-Luc Godard
1:57 - Images of Godard at a press conference at the Cannes film festival in 1988. 
2:00 - Image of cheque from Tout Va Bien
2:02 - Image from Passion (1982) by Jean-Luc Godard
2:05 - Image from Bande A Part (1964) by Jean-Luc Godard
2:08 - Image of Jean-Paul Belmondo from Pierrot Le Fou (1965) by Jean-Luc Godard
2:12 - Music - Amsterdam (1964), written and performed by Jacques Brel
2:14 - Image of Brigitte Helm as Maria in Metropolis (1927) by Fritz Lang
2:16 and later - Images of screen from Dans le Noir du Temps (2002) by Jean-Luc Godard
2:20 - Gunfire audio clip from Film Socialisme (2010) by Jean-Luc Godard 
2:21 - Image of Anna Karina from Pierrot Le Fou 
2:29 onwards - Video from 2 ou 3 Choses Que Je Sais d'Elle (1967) by Jean-Luc Godard


  1. I love it Stephen! What I appreciate most from you is your refusal to settle for conventional posts. You are one of teh most creative guys out there, and this latest post is a ravishing tribute to an icon still offering the world his cinematic artistry!

  2. I love the animation moniker on teh sidebar too!

  3. Thank you very much indeed for the extremely kind words, Sam!

    I try to write and make posts about things that inspire me the most. I don't want to bore myself(!)

    "...an icon still offering the world his cinematic artistry!"

    Absolutely, and, in my opinion, showing no signs of decline.

    I'm glad you like the Animation poster too. I'm looking forward to it and, in the meantime, thoroughly enjoying the Horror Countdown.

  4. Stephen. At the risk of throwing in a hyperbole, I think this is your finest post that I've read because it gives us more to work with than any other post. A lovely work.

    How long did it take for you to make the film. I love those segments where a single shot is broken into 2 or three photographs.

    Also, if possible (I know it's tough) could you provide an index to the sounds and images used?

    And I see you've got the exact font Godard uses. Excellent.

    Terrific work, my friend!

  5. Wow, thank you for the high praise, JAFB.

    I enjoyed the challenge of alluding to Godard's style without making it a pastiche.

    Once I'd got the ideas in my head it took me the best part of a day (over a few days). I wanted to try to get the right quotes and music and sounds.

    I will add an index tomorrow.

  6. Thanks for the exhaustive index Stephen. It's a formidable palette that you've used, with an eclectic set of images and sounds. I't a splendid tribute to the filmmaker.

  7. My pleasure and thanks again.

  8. Stephen,

    I forgot to add this: It's surprising and refreshing to see you include non-Godard films in the compendium. Lovely. Any specific reason for this deviation?

    Also, what ever happened to the video?!

  9. I chose the images from A Lonely Place and L'Amour Fou because they represent one of Godard's influences / people he admired (Nicholas Ray) and the second the French New Wave context.

    Also, the images show two ways of seeing - one straight on and bold, the other peering around a corner. For me it seemed to sum up Godard's blatant, provocative side with his subtle, oblique side.

  10. The Robert Bresson is to do with context too and the images fit the audio clip. Frenchness and tragic romanticism (that's what it sounds like anyway) are the reasons for the Jacques Brel.

    The image from Metropolis was just do with death. It's such a powerful moment.

    What do you mean by "what ever happened to the video?", JAFB?

  11. Thanks for the clarification, Stephen. I couldn't see the video for some time there. It's A-OK now...