Close-Up Film Centre has acquired and revived Vertigo Magazine, one of the most important film-related publications in the UK. Launched in 1993, Vertigo went silent two years ago, but Issue 30 makes for one hell of a comeback. The title: "Godard Is" — and, as Damien Sanville writes in the opening editorial, "His oeuvre is, just as color is…. Godard is one if not the most influential filmmaker to explore the role of the moving image within aesthetics, politics and history. His work represents in its most emblematic way the crossover between the poetical and the historical, cinema and the arts, which will also be at the core of our publication. A 'double bind,' Guattari's crayfish."
A quick run-through: Frieda Grafe on Vivre sa vie (1962); David Brancaleone at considerable length on the "Interventions of Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker into Contemporary Visual Art" and Adrian Martin on the 2006 exhibition Voyage(s) en utopie, JLG, 1946-2006 (more from Cyril Neyrat); Corin Depper on the relationship between the Histoire(s) du cinéma and Ezra Pound's Cantos (and from the archives, Jonathan Rosenbaum); James Norton on King Lear (1987); Jürgen E Müller and Duncan White both on Scénario du film Passion (1982); James S Williams and Roland-François Lack on Film socialisme (2010); Ágnes Pethő on the "the rivalry between cinema and the other arts and media" in the films of the late 50s and early 60s; Jerry White on Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville's Soft and Hard (1985); and Robert Barry on Godard's use of color.
As it happens, Issue 34 of e-flux journal appeared yesterday, featuring Irmgard Emmelhainz's essay on Godard's "Militant Filmmaking":
It is often argued that between 1967 and 1974 Godard operated under a misguided assessment of the effervescence of the social and political situation and produced the equivalent of "terrorism" in filmmaking. He did this, as the argument goes, by both subverting the formal operations of narrative film and by being biased toward an ideological political engagement. Here, I explore the idea that Godard's films of this period are more than partisan political statements or anti-narrative formal experimentations. The filmmaker's response to the intense political climate that reigned during what he would retrospectively call his "leftist trip" years was based on a filmic-theoretical praxis in a Marxist-Leninist vein. Through this praxis, Godard explored the role of art and artists and their relationship to empirical reality. He examined these in three arenas: politics, aesthetics, and semiotics. His work between 1967 and 1974 includes the production of collective work with the Dziga Vertov Group (DVG) until its dissolution in 1972, and culminates in his collaboration with Anne-Marie Miéville under the framework of Sonimage, a new production company founded in 1973 as a project of "journalism of the audiovisual."
On Saturday, April 21, at 3 pm, New York's Light Industry presents a free screening of Godard and Miéville's France/Tour/Detour/Two/Children (1978). Image above.
Godard's been the focus of a couple recent Daily entries, one on the forthcoming publication of his Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television and another on his influence on design. And there's no better way to wrap this one up than to point again to Catherine Grant's recent roundup, "Godardian Greatness Galore!"
Update, 4/12: As Film socialisme arrives in Nashville, Michael Sicinski offers a brief primer to Scene readers.