Only one small sequence of “Masculin-Feminin” was shot in Sweden. The bulk of the film was shot in Paris.
The problem is not people finding Godard “mind-numbingly boring” but their pig-headed refusal to explain themseleves in any way. They don’t want to start a conversation. They want to keep one from happening.
Godard’s weak….you’re weak! (Glengarry Glen Ross)
No doubt that Godard is an important director but I find some of his films rambling and in need of editing. I’ve fell asleep some of his films. But then there’s Breathless and Contempt. He’s also wonderfully visual and there is always something to latch on to. However he is not one of my favorite filmmakers.
let me put in cliches here:
1) Godard’s films are meant to be lived.
2) Its like poetry – a month down, you will get the significance of that monologue (or dialogue. heh). Still another month down, you look at it in a different sense.
3) It is existential in matter. (political (!) in form).
“Knowledge is always gained gradually.” – JLG (paraphrase)
“Have you ever noticed that the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place?!”
Another applicable quote from George, as this is the way I’ve felt about people I’ve met who love Godard.
Fredo, that the people who love French New Wave are the people you would not want to love in the first place??
I didn’t think I’d have any need to participate in this thread for a few reasons.
1. I like most of Godard’s early films, but not his late ones.
2. Still, I think he is a little pretentious. Not bad, but a little pretentious.
But, I will take issue with the notion that Godard invented any techniques at all, much less the techniques that “modern” cinema are based on. What Godard did with cinematic grammar was synthesis is. He took loads of existing ideas and concepts, and placed them in a slightly new context. To assert that modern cinema couldn’t exist without him is plainly absurd. Modern cinema is based as much on Truffaut, Hitchcock, Ford, Griffith, Wells, Fellini, Bergman, De Sica, Cassevetes, and Murnau as it is on Godard. You could throw in another dozen directors that have shaped modern cinema if you like.
I’m not trying to knock Godard here, or reduce his accomplishments. He is one of a kind director in film history, and he ought to be regarded as one of the lynch pins in it’s development. But lets not get too carried away. There are serious limitations, both commercial and artistic, to his style. He can’t be copied, because anyone who would really try would end up looking like an idiot. The only thing you can possibly do with him is absorb some of his aloof ability to undermine genre and grammar conventions. But that is not the whole of modern cinema, is it?
what?let’s not get carried away?what’s next?diminishing Descartes and Locke in philosophy and referring them as “serious limitations, both commercial and artistic”????
oh c’mon….either we like it or not,people like Godard we’ll remain in the next centuries to come,so any detractors nowadays can still mock him and call him “Not bad, but a little pretentious” all they want,he’ll be laughing like Manet did and Telemann too….
Dimitris – This is one thing that drives me totally insane about you. Read my whole post, please. I am not trying to knock or detract from Godard. Just because I think he’s a little pretentious doesn’t mean that I think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Why is it so hard to believe that someone has an opinion of Godard that doesn’t rank him among the gods? I also have no illusions about how Godard’s legacy will play out in the future – he will be revered for as long as the cinema exists. I have no serious problem with that. But I do have my own opinion. I think he puts on airs sometimes. I think he’s a little too smart for his own good at other times. I think sometimes it would be nice if he got out of the way of his own pictures a little. But if he did that, he wouldn’t be Godard, would he?
My point with the post above is to say that Godard is not the be-all and end-all of modern cinema.
Dimitris – Maybe Descartes and Locke do have some serious limitations. After all, philosophy didn’t stop when they hit the grave.
maybe they do,but they’re still highly considered now,don’t they?don’t be so subjective,opinions are opinions but as we said in another thread,pointing out “pretentiousness” amongst other adjectives doesn’t help to improve objectivity…
everyone has contributed to the history of cinema,but as with other arts,many will still be criticizing the whos and whats of cinematic creativity and nourishment,gradually..the significant auteurs and also the ones who contributed on a greater part but didn’t become well-known up to an era……
and those remarks will not stop the particular creators from remaining in the years to come…
Eisenstein was criticized a lot when he first appeared,it’s as if his writings back then were more important than his framework and mis-en-scene…well guess what?Eisenstein can kiss their asses nowadays….
I’m not trying to improve objectivity here. I’m saying two things. 1. My personal opinion of Godard is that I like him (at least his early films), but that I do find him a little pretentious at times, which in his case isn’t always bad. 2. Godard is not THE towering figure of modern cinema. He is one of the major figures, but not the only one. I have a serious problem with the notion that modern cinema just wouldn’t be the same without him. That’s placing far too much importance on one director, who’s influence isn’t so easily traced. Will history vindicate Godard? Sure it will, and I’m fine with that. History will also vindicate every director I mentioned in my initial post. I’m not trying to throw him out of the halls of cinematic greatness here.
sure you’re not but you cannot exclude him either..so in other words..you do respect him at least….
still….modern cinema without him could have been altered as a gratification of some sorts….other figures could have been more famous and again,more detractors coming along the way….
that’s not really the beauty of it,that’s the nagging of it :)
p.s.: whoever said is THE towering figure of modern cinema?not even the fanatics dare to say that unless those fanatics hate Rocha,Pasolini and Sembene…
A little off topic; but
In Breathless; What is the film playing in the cinema that Patricia hides in from the police ? I know it is an extremely famous film, and I’m irritated that I don’t know.
Dimitris – My post references a little piece of conversation on page two where Justin asserts that Godard is modern cinema.
Am I excluding Godard? Let me quote myself here – “Will history vindicate Godard? Sure it will, and I’m fine with that.”, and here’s another one – “He is one of the major figures, but not the only one.” Does this sound like I’m excluding Godard from anything? Yes, I respect Godard. Is he my favorite director? No. Is he my favorite French New Wave director? No.
Tom,i think it’s Whirlpool,but am not sure of it…
i didn’t say you DO exclude him,i only assumed it in case you were to “do” in any kind of future…..
thankfully,i love many New Wave directors,so i’ll always observe these threads with the best of smiles :)
Pretentious: Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, esp. when unjustified. —The American Hertiage Dictionary
Pretentious: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed. —The New Oxford American Dictionary
From About The Auteurs:
The Auteurs is not just about discovering wonderful new cinema or classic masterpieces. It’s also about discussing and sharing these discoveries, which makes us like a small coffee shop—… a place where you can gather and talk about alternative endings, directors’ cuts, and whatever those frogs in Magnolia meant. Heated debates and passionate arguments are welcome.
Are you in the mood for cinema? Welcome to The Auteurs.
Now, look up debate, passion, discussion and arguments. Hopefully you can better understand what those words mean than you understand pretension.
1. Godard’s influence may not be all-encompassing but it is vast
2. This thread was started as a joke so some of the hostility, including my own, was a bit unwarranted
3. As David E. indicated, there are far too many threads and posters who have nothing to say except “______ sucks.” If that’s all you have to say about an auteur, on The Auteurs, you will be faced with some understandable hostility.
4. Defending the quality of a popular auteur or lamenting the lack of insightful posting is not pretentious, it’s what the site is all about.
Well, to be serious for a bit(for me at least). I just watched A Woman is a Woman and was mesmerized. It’s fkn fantastic! Thank you Godard for that pleasure of a work.
I’ve learned to appreciate Godard.
“I’ve fell asleep some of his films”
See your doctor.
“Just because I think he’s a little pretentious doesn’t mean that I think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
“Pretentious” is to film blather (actual film ciriticism is an entirely different field) as “reverse racism” is to political blather.
The film they go to see in "Breathless is Budd Boetticher’s “Westbound.” But the soundtrack that’s played is a poem by Jacques Prevert.
These pretzeles are makin’ me thirsty- Seinfeld
Christopher: Most sensible thing said on this thread in awhile. :D
@David – I still think that “pretentious” is a real word and that there are appropriate times to use it. As I’ve indicated before in the posts above, Godard’s pretentiousness is a part of who he is, and I don’t think his brand of cinema would be quite the same without it. So, it’s not an entirely bad thing in his case.
The Auteurs is chock full o’ giant killers, isn’t it?
I agree that Godard is weak. I mean, let’s face it — the guy is what, 80? And you know he doesn’t take care of his body as well as, like, Jack Lalane or someone. I can see him going down to virtually anyone here in an arm wrestling contest. Slap him in the temple hard enough and he’ll probably have a stroke.
Uwe Boll — now there’s a strong director.
“The Auteurs is chock full o’ giant killers, isn’t it?”
It’s chock full of anti-intellectual trolls.