i’ve finally seen these works after years of waiting. the first episode was great. it had a unique tempo that drew me in, particularly the credit sequence. every episode after that felt extremely repetitive and a bit dampened of effect. i can’t really tell them all apart. it just wasn’t very successful for me, aside from some great poetic moments, like his closing line. too far and few between though.
ive often heard people call this godard’s masterwork. is that so? would love to hear more thoughts on this series, either as it stands on its own or within the context of godard’s work.
I personally perfer Alphaville and its sequel Germany year nine zero
but Godard certainly has a fine grasp of cinema and after JLG/JLG his history is my favorite and it is likely his most ambitious project
but is it really that ambitious? thats what i had always heard, and i think thats one reason why people call it his masterwork. they feel ambition equates to greatness by default.
whats ambitious about it? he utilized a lot of the same clips and images over and over again, and every single episode has the same intertitles floating over it again and again. each episode isnt really more than 30 minutes. this project is no more or less ambitious than a normal television miniseries.
i found it lacking. i wanted it to be a grand statement on cinema by one of the grand elder statesmen of cinema. but it doesnt even come close to touching the power and brilliance of his early film writing.
Spend more time reading about it and thinking about it. It makes a shocking and brilliant argument for and against cinema.
Histoires du cinema can not be over estimated—watch it and weep for what we’ve lost—Godard like Scorsese is so much better as critic than film maker—don’t expect to see a better history/criticism of cinema ever!
so you feel its a eulogy for cinema? what did we lose, cinema itself, or a certain form or purity of cinema?
i wouldnt call scorsese a film critic. hes more of a film historian/preservationist. and if he’s better at that than he is at being a filmmaker maybe tarantino is too.
i dont think we can make such a comparison for godard, who felt that filmmaking and film criticism were really the same acts with different mediums. that being said, i dont feel “histoire” is more powerful or lucid a critique than his early writing.
im sure ill eventually spend more time with it, and id love to read some critical reviews of it (send links if possible). at first glance it didnt hit me very hard. i appreciate his efforts though. like i said, my main problem is with the repetition. id have rather it be one complete work of about 90 minutes or so.
I like the fragmented character of “Histoire(s) du Cinéma”, and regard it as a beautiful film poem dedicated to cinema history. It doesn’t make sense to rank it alongside his earlier works since it’s a completely different approach. As mentioned on another thread, Godard’s film criticism is nevertheless not without bias, and the overall ignorance of important African, Latin American and Indian contributions to cinema history might be the mayor flaw of this series.
another flaw is the complete omission of anything post-70s. or was that the point?
It seemed to me that Godard primarily focussed on pioneers and filmmakers who influenced him as well as contemporaries from the 60’s, and that might be a reason why films from regions the Nouvelle Vague directors weren’t quite aware of as well as more recent films are missing. It can therefore only be regarded as a subjective view on cinema history.
Check out Brody’s excellent analysis on Histoire(s) in his otherwise problematic Godard biography.
Is this available on dvd?
I’ve been wanting to see this, but is it available on dvd?
There’s a Region 2 release by Artificial Eye and a Region 0 release by Gaumont.
streetcar as filmmaker he is critic
well, everythings a subjective view. we can call it a limited subjective view though.