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1,042 Ratings

The Image Book

Le livre d'image

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Switzerland, France, 2018
  • French
  • English


Jean-Luc Godard returns with a bracing, beautiful and confrontational essay film. Splicing together classic film clips and newsreel footage, often stretched, saturated and distorted almost beyond recognition, The Image Book interrogates our relationship with film, culture and global politics.

Our take

Now in his seventh decade of filmmaking, Jean-Luc Godard continues to surprise and provoke us. Winner of the first-ever Special Palme d’Or at Cannes, The Image Book is a riotous whirlwind of images and sounds whose inventive brilliance proves that the New Wave legend is as revolutionary as ever.

The Image Book Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
A head-scratcher and a mind-bender, The Image Book . . . is gloriously obscure and brutally unpretty, yet lucid and even gorgeous all the same.
January 26, 2019
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A work of such stabbing angularity, exorbitant allusiveness, unyielding digression, and exhausting doom that the film’s sole justification, the thing that joins and stabilizes all the rattling fragments, is the totemic allure of a name: Godard.
January 25, 2019
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A dense and cryptic essay film in the vein of his magnum opus, Histoire(s) du Cinéma (1988-’98).
February 07, 2019
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What are people saying?

  • Juan Soto's rating of the film The Image Book

    7.1 channels of sound portraying 360º of the surface of the earth in thousands of years of existence. Someone asks in off "to be inmortal has no interest for you?" and the other responds something that is not subtitled, and continues: "What will become of me if I don't die?". In the image, a scene from Vertigo where Scottie rescues Madeleine from a suicidal attempt. Then black. Silence.

  • VincentVendetta's rating of the film The Image Book

    Cinema should have died with the end of the 20th century, along side capitalism. Yet we still try to keep them alive, oppressing other ideas and images, remaking films and conflicts, with no other (art) movement ready to take the mantle. People often say that every story has been told, and it may seem sceptical, but it speaks to the universal legacy that has been left - and our inability to create a follow-up.

  • msmichel's rating of the film The Image Book

    TIFF '18 Godard's latest musings on violence, history, film and meaning make for a challenging but rewarding experience that maintains a playfulness with image and its manipulation that puts his young peers to shame. Godard's use of archival footage and a wealth of film clips is extraordinary bringing to mind his 'Histoires' series.

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Image Book

    Is it weird to say that I am moved an 87 year old is kicking out work this far beyond his peers? If I find the time would love to do a close reading on the final chapter whose politics escaped me. It's a work about the violence of the times, reflected in the medium and everything done to it. Very dense, but doing so many technical stunts that you wonder what freaky laboratory birthed it.

  • juanitarrr's rating of the film The Image Book

    A call to revolution. To revolution in this society that no longer seeks to go out of war, to find peace. A desperate cry to revolution as the only hope left to save us from the eternal disgrace of our system. A call to cinematic revolution that breaks all the codes, all the rules of cinematic language, to call to a disruptive force of change. In Godard we trust!

  • tidal waif's rating of the film The Image Book

    Jihlava '18 with Jiri, hence 4. Otherwise forgot our conversation after. In hindsight, you can't gainsay M. Heiferman that albeit taking and sharing images has become second nature to many, this unprecedented visual suffusion does not necessarily entail more image literacy. Goes for photo & cinema alike. I remember Godard's imagery as a blissed out interchangeable plethora consciously verging on inalienable red tape.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film The Image Book

    The familiar Godardian themes: the moving image as a reflection of reality, as a distraction from it, and as a necessary vehicle for capturing it. And, as Godard makes clear, this image is highly mutable. No new ground is broken in this essay on how political violence continues when you'd think we have enough footage to learn our lesson. But moments abound where editing wizardry and epigrammatic provocation collide.

  • chanandre's rating of the film The Image Book

    [Cinema Ideal] /with João Dias/ Is this what a testament reads like...? Felt so sad after this film. It was trips, voyages, vectors, directions toward the black screen, fade outs, cue end titles. Cough over literature, politics, paintings, frames, shots, voices, stereo, war, film stock, digital, cinema. See this on a film theatre and witness the best editor in film history this side of Eisenstein. I am crying. RimAKs

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