While the world eagerly awaits his new feature, Jean-Luc Godard’s Une catastrophe (Switzerland/Italy) has its Canadian premiere in Toronto. Returning to the essayistic style that has come to define his extensive post-Nouvelle Vague body of work, the film brings a flash of the director’s prosody, complete with the grunting sounds of a tennis match, a dash of German melodrama and his signature epigrammatic wordplay. —TIFF
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
A dense network of allusions, but by now I'm so tired of this endless referentiality (in 60 seconds there are references to tennis as televised spectacle, German poetry, German emigre directors - the kiss from Menschen am Sonntag, Russia, war, filming war, Godard's own earlier film and love or Sabbath life as perhaps a temporary cure to the hyperreal modern life) that 60 seconds is about all I can bear.
Wavelengths Preview – Part Two, + Future Projections, Etc.