Issue 30 | Spring 2012: Godard Is.


A Double Bind

By Damien Sanville

"An image of the Virgin and her baby on a donkey doesn’t cause a war; its interpretation by a text is what will lead to war and cause Luther’s soldiers to go and deface Raphael canvases. I have a strong feeling that the image enables us to talk less and say more." – Jean-Luc Godard

There are very few important books written about film or cinema. Maybe one should only read Bresson's 
Notes on the Cinematographer to understand what cinema is. Everything else is better written, or thought of in philosophy, poetry and literature. So why more writings on film? To incite, by any means, the desire to see these films which otherwise would be lost in the cultural wasteland we are crossing.
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Jean-Luc Godard: Vivre sa Vie

By Frieda Grafe

"I know what I want to say, I think before I say it, to be quite sure that it is what I must say – phtt – suddenly I can’t say it anymore", Nana explains to the philosopher with whom she started a conversation in a café.

The Interventions of Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker into Contemporary Visual Art

By David Brancaleone

In 1997 Chris Marker held an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Immemory One and Godard showed Voyage(s) en utopies: Jean-Luc Godard, 1946-2006, in the same place.

“Elpenor, Unburied”: Ezra Pound, Jean-Luc Godard and the Descent of Dwelling

By Corin Depper

Taking Jean-Luc Godard’s use of a fragment from Ezra Pound’s Cantos as a starting point, this essay explores the relationship between the Histoire(s) du Cinema and the Cantos.

King Lear

By James Norton

Godard's 1987 King Lear has been deemed incoherent and unwatchable, a travesty of Shakespeare. Yet the ageing provocateur had made a masterpiece that rewards reassessment.

"I am playing leapfrog with myself"

By Jürgen E. Müller

This essay approaches Godard's self-portraits and self-presences by way of a short "re-visiting" of the video film Scénario du film Passion.

Scénario du Film Passion: Writing Video at the End of Cinema

By Duncan White

This essay considers Godard's short work Scénario du film Passion as a video poem in relation to the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé and the video art of Harun Farocki.

Entering the Desert: The Book of Film Socialisme

By James S. Williams

This essay examines the function and significance of Godard’s sudden reinvestment in the photographic in his latest and very different type of book for P.O.L. entitled Film Socialisme: Dialogues avec visages auteurs.

Godard in the Gallery: Story of a Ruination

By Adrian Martin

Imagine that the exhibition was perfectly set up, and the doors are just about to be opened to the public for the launch. Suddenly, a plane unexpectedly crashed into the main gallery area of the Pompidou.

"Tensional Differences": The Anxiety of Re-Mediation in Jean-Luc Godard’s New Wave Films

By Ágnes Pethő

This essay discusses the way in which Godard, in his films made during the period of the Nouvelle Vague, addresses the issues regarding the rivalry between the emerging modern cinema and the other arts and media.

For a Reconsideration of Soft and Hard

By Jerry White

Soft and Hard is one of the most interesting pieces that Godard and Miéville made in the 1980s, a tentative but engaged essay on the possibilities of working and living together, and the connection of this relationship to marginal places and landscapes.

It's Not Blood, It's Red: Colour(s) of Jean-Luc Godard

By Robert Barry

In the midst of a 1980 interview with Jean-Luc Godard, Colin MacCabe suddenly finds himself struck dumb: "Although colour's very important in your work, I couldn't find any way to talk about it. It's like a difficulty that I have with Joyce's Finnegan's Wake."

A Photograph and a Camera: Two Objects in Film Socialisme

By Roland-François Lack

Godard’s films have been making a distinction between photography and cinema at least as far back as the moment in Le Petit Soldat when a photographer, as he takes pictures, says that photography is truth and cinema the truth 24 times per second.

From the Archive


An Old Place

By Cyril Neyrat

For many people of my generation, culture was the big idea, the big opportunity or the big invention, the big secular faith. I remember leafing through Elie Faure’s L’Histoire de l’Art and Malraux’s books at the town hall library, and they offered the promise of knowledge...

Trailer for Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinema

By Jonathan Rosenbaum

The following text derives from two particular film festival encounters: 1) a round table on the subject of Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma, held in Locarno in August 1995; 2) some time spent with Godard in Toronto in September 1996.

Issue 30 – Spring 2012  

"The British did what they always did in cinema: nothing." – Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du cinéma  

Editor: Damien Sanville
Assistant Editor: Michael Garrad
Commissioning Editors: Julian Ross, Robert Chilcott
Archiving Assistants: Sophie Monks Kaufman, Alicia Mersy, Peter Thomson, Karin Harfmann, Charlie Sandford, Tom DrukerNerina Moris

Web Development: Enigma Solutions

Special Thanks to: Holly Aylett, Gareth Evans, Ananda Pellerin, Anne-Sophie Nique-Depret, Manon Xhaard, Costi Cralis, Sissi Tax