Hes overrated. This guy couldn’t make a decent movie to save his life.
That’s what I thought until today. I watched “Pierrot le fou” and it has left me quivering with excitement. I wrote him off years ago, and boy was I wrong. Give it time, Nate, maybe, or maybe you’ll never like him. But in my book he saved his life with that movie.
I realized that he went out with Anna Karina which in all likelihood means he had sex with her which makes him a God regardless of any other accomplishments he might have.
Thats actually amazing you said that, I was just about to pop in Le Fou as his last chance to sway me.
This isnt really a Godard bashing thread as I’m well aware film is so incredibly subjective, my purpose here is to find out why people like his films like “Breathless” and “A Woman is a Woman” and “Bande A Part”. I find them INSANELY dull and heavily reliant on goofy camera tricks and awkward cuts. I just cant stand it, he takes me out of the movie literally 100 times a film. He may be a culturally historic, influential and revolutionary filmmaker but that sure as hell doesnt make his movies good. What do people like about this guy?!
Faux-Fuyants: He actually was married to her, making that even more likely.
Nate, I’m with you: I don’t like “Breathless” at all. That’s what put me off Godard. But now that I have seen “Pierrot” I need to see his other films to reassess. You’re never too old to change your opinion.
And I hate his intellectual babble on movies as well, he thinks he’s so much better than everyone else but realistically hes no better than Michael Bay, the only difference is Bay makes movies for ditzy 13 year old boys and Godard makes movies for ditzy 13 year old girls.
Someone argue with me damnit we need to get Godard off all these top 100 movies of all times lists…
Nate you might enjoy this Herzog quote then: “Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good Kung Fu film.”
“Nate you might enjoy this Herzog quote then: “Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good Kung Fu film.””
nice, i can totally see Klaus Kinski ripping Godards silly glasses off and then removing his head
Whoa, even I wouldn’t have gone that far. Let me guess: you don’t like the musical numbers?
I always believed there was a great deal of intellectual content in his films. It’s the manner that bothered me in “Breathless.” I found “Pierrot” to be much more grounded in that it is self-conscious of its use of film tropes, so that the manner is the movie. After all, “B” was his first film, “Plf” his tenth (I think.)
How many films by Godard have you seen, Nate?
I hear this all the time from people that have seen three, or four, even ten or fifteen Godard films. The man has been in the film industry for fifty years, and has made over 90 career films (according to IMDb, including shorts). I think you can’t write an artist off until you’ve seen at least half of their work, and I think a lot of people say this about Godard when they’ve seen a couple of his films (I did… I thought he was the most overrated filmmaker alive when I’d only seen four or five of his films). Godard is a filmmaker that adds up over time. Some get it immediately, the lucky ones, some get it eventually, like me, and some never get it, but you have to at least give the man a real shot before you can say he’s overrated or not.
Musical numbers arent bad if they work, (I loved Umbrellas) but I find the numbers just dont work or fit, they leave me saying “where the hell did this come from?”
Ive seen four, and you’re absolutely right I cant write him off altogether however Im not willing to sit through all 90 of his films if his 4 most known, prominent and well received make me sick. And I think the people that like or praise godard are (typically) the ones who have seen thse 4 or 5 not 90 or even 45. I just want to know why they like his movies, they are simply so shallow. But good point nonetheless.
Haha… I can remember the intense excitement I had just before inserting the “Breathless” disc, a movie I then accordingly acknowledged but now utterly detest as the supposed progenitor of the French New Wave. After 10 minutes into it I was asleep.
Godard, as you quite rightly said, is immensely overrated: but I’ve realized that to get even the lightest bit of satisfaction or enjoyment from his films, like the aforementioned Pierrot Le Fou and A Woman Is A Woman – both of which I watched about a month ago and can’t even remember a single scene from due to the extreme ennui exerted by the excruciating minutes – one has to watch his movies fully ready to ingest and accept his irksome camera idiosyncrasies, his self-indulgence and his “intellectual babble”. The last film of his I saw was A Woman Is A Woman and although I learned my lesson after that, I’m still trying to brace up enough condonation to watch another one of his films.
well its so good to know im not alone. I had film major roommates who all thought I was “below them” because I didn’t “get” Breathless. Quite honestly I thought everyone on this forum “understood” him too. haha
Like any filmmaker or film, you have to be open to it to accept it. Ignore him if you like, put him away for a few years or for the rest of your life, but he’s hardly a Michael Bay making crowd-pleasers. His films are about the self-consciousness of filmmaking, thus are not about emotional involvement or any life philosophy, in my estimation. If he doesn’t have what you want, don’t watch him. For me, he is a missing link in film for me, and I look forward to watching more of his films. Will he be one of my favorite directors? I doubt it. But I feel I have found an opening into his films, a point of interest for me to pursue. But no one who is that hyped is all hype. Don’t write him off so soon.
Personally, the three films you’ve mentioned are not my favourites by him, Bande à part is actually my least liked. I don’t know what the fourth is, Pierrot? His earlier work is, to me, simpler in content that his later work (sans maybe Vivre sa Vie, and Le petit Soldat), and may be classified as ‘shallow’ if one felt so inclined.
The turning point in his career is around Pierrot le fou. It’s the point at which he began focusing on the nature of film as an art form (and his ruminations on the subject are almost always fascinating), and turned a corner politically, socially, and linguistically. There are many things that can be thrown at Godard, shallow is not one to be thrown at later period Godard. Just his language alone is some of the most complex in all of cinema.
One thing I’ll never understand… why is an intellectual being criticized for being an intellectual? If you really hate intellectualizing so much you should really stay away from the art world. I don’t mean to be an asshole, but seriously this is a ridiculous criticism. It would be like criticizing a politician for talking so much about politics. It’s almost their job.
Again, I would seriously doubt anyone who is calling Godard overrated has seen even more than a handful of his films.
Oh no no no no I love intellectualism, trust me. I just dislike the fact that he uses it as a faucet to bash on everyone and thing but him, lets just say he goes on the offensive a lot (or at least from what Ive seen). I think however there is a fine line between being intellectual and being a lecturer. And most of HIS thoughts and ideas are not going to translate into film, that is the whole point of film, its all about what the film means to the audience, each individual, not what a single white dove shot in reverse upside down, jump cutted 3 times essentially means <-over exaggerating.
This is a common misconception, and again one I made, that Godard is transposing his thoughts on screen. It’s true that Godard is, maybe more than any other filmmaker, an artist of ideas, but not necessarily his own ideas. Godard focuses on almost all of the aspects of a given idea. When he began exploring Marxism he explored almost every facet of it in numerous films, and it’s just as likely that he disagreed with the majority of Marxist theory as it is likely that he agreed with the majority of it. The point being that he’s a person that intellectualizes everything, which is kind of the point of his work… here, I’ll quote something that seems extremely salient at the moment…
“Although often singled out as the ‘theorist’ of the Cahiers group, Godard’s penchant for playful allusion and the poignant turn of phrase establish him more clearly as the journal’s resident ‘poet-critic.’ This role has served Godard, and the history of film criticism itself, rather well. For when we review the collective body of Godard’s output as film critic, we find that through the practice of his uniquely rarefied, poetic approach, Godard was in effect carving out a new ‘assessment’ of cinema that, while alternative, could essentially stand in for the mainstream or definitive history and conception of the medium. The cinema as put forth by Godard was therefore a ‘cinema that might have been,’ a canon (or anti-canon) that existed only as an ideal, a series of groupings whose relation to each other could only be measured poetically, yet one whose separate and discrete films did, after all, exist. As a self-fulfilling prophecy for Godard’s own cinema, and as an ontology (or idea for an ontology) that is inherently cinematographic, the ‘cinéma qu’il y aurait’ deserves exploration.”
~ Craig Keller
he should have been a poet
“The only difference is Bay makes movies for ditzy 13 year old boys and Godard makes movies for ditzy 13 year old girls.”
You’re more than entitled to your opinion, even if I can’t really agree with it. However, that statement is ridiculous on so many levels.
“my purpose here is to find out why people like his films like “Breathless” and “A Woman is a Woman” and “Bande A Part”.”
Yeah, it’s hard to find out why people like these films. If only there were some kind of search engine on the internet where you could look up the million reviews of these films that have been written since they came out. Maybe some day…
“After 10 minutes into it I was asleep.”
Any classic film that makes some kid fall asleep after 10 minutes must be overrated. Their is, of course, no other explanation.
Godard is my favorite filmmaker, and the films you’ve listed, Nate, I rank amongst the lowest of his oeuvre. (excluding Breathless, which is still overrated, but a great visual adaptation of Jazz.)
Nate, I recommend that you see more films by a filmmaker before you write him off entirely, and especially before you make a thread in which you denounce a man with criticisms which don’t even penetrate the outer stratospheres of his cinema. In case you’re interested, heres what I consider the best of his 60’s work:
1. Pierrot le Fou
3. Week-End (this film will piss you off, and thats its job)
4. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her
5. Vivre Sa Vie (perfect.)
6. Masculin Feminin
Godard is a difficult filmmaker, and I think everyone who is acquainted with his films have gone through altering periods of disdain and passion for his work.
Kurt, I’m glad Week End is supposed to piss me off. :)
I would just like to stand up for Breathless, A Woman is a Woman, and Band of Outsiders. I love all three films. If you would like me to explain why, pick a film and I will give my reasons (keep in mind my favorite of the three is Band of Outsiders, and my least favorite is A Woman is a Woman).
Nate is like a vastly inferior version of Week End.
Well said, Law.