Calum Marsh – “Godard’s Invisible Cinema: The Neglected Genius of Late-Period Godard” (2011)

March 19, 2013 at 7:17 am (Cinema, French New Wave, Reviews & Articles)

An analysis of Godard’s post-1968 work. Originally posted on the PopMatters website, May 13, 2011…

If it seems odd to accuse the critical establishment of neglecting or rejecting the films of Jean-Luc Godard, a figure whose stature within the contemporary cultural canon does indeed persist undiminished—the status of his rakish debut Breathless (1960) as perennial classic still uncontested, his name as a result emblazoned permanently in the annals of cinematic history—consider that this legacy, however firmly ensconced in the popular imagination or film-school curricula worldwide, extends only to those films produced within his first decade as a filmmaker. Godard’s career, contrary to what film history suggests, now spans a little more than five decades.  And it has not yet concluded: Film Socialisme, a film few have seen and fewer still care about has, like so many of the films Godard has labored to produce across the last several decades, yet to even receive a proper North American release, nor is it likely to anytime in the near future. Of course, this new work’s very existence has helped illicit, if not the siren call of distributors, the usual sighs and chortles from Godard’s vocal dissidents—those influential mainstream critics for whom the arrival of a new Godard think-piece heralds an opportunity for nostalgia, for riffing romantically on their longing for “the old Godard”, rather than for going to the trouble of engaging with the present.

The latest wave of critics issuing sweeping dismissals and unfair sniping, occasioned both by the presentation of Film Socialisme at Cannes last May and by his having recently been given an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement (which he naturally declined to accept), approaches the ‘issue’ of Godard’s stubborn persistence in continuing to produce new, ever more challenging work in precisely the same manner critics have approached Godard’s work for nearly half a century: basing their evaluations, as Jim Emerson observes in an analysis of five decades’ worth of Godard press coverage in the New York Times, “on assumptions that Godard means to communicate something but is either too damned perverse or inept to do so”, his detractors betray their frustration—incited by confusion but masked by cultivated distaste—in poses as predictable as they are misguided. The pervading sentiment, seemingly Read the rest of this entry »

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Suede – “It Starts and Ends with You” (Video – 2013)

March 19, 2013 at 5:53 am (Music)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (March 16, 2013)

March 19, 2013 at 5:51 am (Life & Politics)

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