Histoire(s) Du Cinéma

Histoire(s) Du Cinéma


Jean-Luc Godard’s video series Histoire(s) Du Cinéma, consisting of eight episodes made over a period of ten years, is an extraordinary look at the medium through the eyes of this unique filmmaker. Hugely ambitious in scope, the series covers a wide range of topics from the birth of cinema to Italian neo-realism to Hollywood and beyond.

"My Histoire(s) Du Cinéma starts with a chapter called Toutes Les Histoires, a lot of small stories in which signs can be seen. It then goes on to say that this story is alone - the only story that has ever been. Then – you know my immoderate ambition – I say: not only is it alone, but it is the only one that will ever be and that has ever been (after, it will not be a story but something else). It is my mission to tell it.

What Follows are brief studies, like cuts. One is called Fatale Beauté in memory of a film by Siodmak, The Great Sinner, with Ava Gardner, based on The Gambler by Dostoïevsky. My idea was that cinema is mostly boys filming girls and it is proved fatal to this story... The there was a more practical study that I always wanted to make and which could be done on video. I named this after Malraux: La Monnaie De L'Absolu. It is an attempt at visual criticism. I had tried this when I took war as an example. I said: this is how Kubrick – a respected director – shows the Vietnam War and this is how Cuban researcher shows the same war: you judge, you look.

A last chapter, Les Signes Parmi Nous says that if one films a traffic jam in the streets of Paris and one knows how to see it, (not I alone, but François Jacob and I), one can discover a vaccine for AIDS. Les Signes Parmi Nous is a novel by Ramuz that I have always wanted to make: a peddler arrives in a small village above Vevey and announces the end of the world. There is a terrible storm which lasts five days, then the sun comes back and the peddler is thrown out of the village. The cinema is the peddler!" – Jean-Luc Godard

Film Listing

- 1a Toutes Les Histoires (1988, 51 mins)
- 1b Une Histoire Seule (1989, 42 mins)
- 2a Seul Le Cinéma (1997, 26 mins)
- 2b Fatale Beauté (1997, 28 mins)
- 3a La Monnaie De L'Absolu (1998, 27 mins)
- 3b Une Vague Nouvelle (1998, 27 mins)
- 4a Contrôle De L'Univers (1998, 27 mins)
- 4b Les Signes Parmi Nous (1988, 38 mins)