The Montreal-based independent publisher caboose has been working for five years on a volume that'll finally be out in September, Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television by Jean-Luc Godard. "In 1978, just before returning to the international stage for the second phase of his career," Godard "improvised a series of 14 one-hour talks at Concordia University in Montreal as part of a projected video history of cinema. These talks, published in French in 1980 and long out of print, have never before been translated into English. For this edition, the faulty and incomplete French transcription has been entirely revised and corrected, working from the sole videotape copies of the lectures, housed in the Concordia University archives. For this project, Godard screened for a dozen or so students his own famous films of the 1960s — watching them himself for the first time since their production — alongside single reels of some of the films which most influenced his work (by Eisenstein, Dreyer, Rossellini, the American directors of the 1950s and many others)…. He then held forth, in an experience he describes as a form of 'public self-psychoanalysis,' on his personal and professional relationships (with François Truffaut, Anna Karina, Raoul Coutard, film producers and audiences), working methods, aesthetic preferences, political beliefs and, on the cusp of 50, his philosophy of life. The result must count as the most extensive and revealing account ever of his work and critical opinions."
Caboose is now allowing us to read a sample chapter in which Godard discusses, among many other things, Masculin féminin (1966) as well as an excerpt from Michael Witt's essay, "Archeology of Histoire(s) du cinéma."
More reading. In the New York Times, Manohla Dargis and AO Scott discuss Katniss Everdeen, heroine of The Hunger Games and "one of the most radical female characters to appear in American movies."
Catherine Grant's latest roundup: "Studies of Long-Form Television, Part 1: The Wire."
Keith Uhlich in Reverse Shot on Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987): "[T]his adaptation of JG Ballard's semiautobiographical novel is arguably his strangest object, a near-constant string of sounds and images that, even in their avowed verisimilitude, are possessed of a heightened unreality and contain scarring psychological depths."
Los Angeles. Susan King rounds up local goings on in the Times.
Seattle. In the Stranger, Charles Mudede recommends Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema, on at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown through April 11.
New York. Eric Khoo's Tatsumi screens at MoMA through Monday. The latest reviews: Jeannette Catsoulis (NYT) and Michelle Orange (Voice). Earlier: Marie-Pierre Duhamel here in the Notebook.
In the works. Giuseppe Tornatore is set to begin shooting The Best Offer with Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess, reports Vittoria Scarpa at Cineuropa.
Paul Haggis will direct Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in Third Person, reports Jennifer Vineyard at Vulture, where Zach Dionne notes that "Ira Glass, Owen Wilson, and Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas are developing an HBO series potentially titled Thrillsville."