Made pretty much exclusively for people who recognize stills from Night of the Hunter, Godard's rumination on 100 years of film history improves the deeper you sink into cinephilia. His academicism can often lapse into humorless self-parody, but as a montage artist (with metaphors cohering from the sea of pixels), he's a wizard. The final effect is emotional rather than academic. Which means it's cinema after all.
You know how Zisek's Pervert's Guide to Cinema is a psychological tour de force on movies? Well, this is Godard's attempt to create a poetic side note about film history. The anecdotes, context, impact, in short, the whole scope of cinema, all broken down to collected thoughts from Jean-Luc himself. Could have been Godard's masterpiece, but no. The fuckin' typewriter didn't allowed it. Seriously, fuck that thing.
As much as I like Godard's features, I seem to hate his video essays. It first hit me with Film Socialisme and now this. The level of didacticism, drenched in this dadaist experimentalism, creates a barrage between my poor mind and his. Unlike his narrative films, here the ideas are drowned before they reach me. 3 minutes into it and I found my fingernails stuck into my neck (well sorta). I'm so not ready for this.
Thoroughly odious. Narcissistic, incoherent, and more than a little insane, this series finds Godard editing footage of Nazi death camps with photographs of Charlie Chaplin and Hitler, cut with not a little bit of hardcore pornography, while the "auteur" spews about Vietnam, Francis Bacon, Irving Thalberg, and Arthur Rimbaud in mumble-coughing voiceover. One must "read meaning" into this. Take your pick.
A spellbinding glimpse into how a hardcore cinephile perceives the relationship between cinema and various other artforms, such as literature, poetry, painting and music. The shortcomings and the success of cinema's past, the possibilities and the limitations of this artform, everything is explored in this masterpiece. A beautiful tribute to Italian cinema, reminiscing about the nouvelle vague, so much to enjoy here.