Monday, August 25, 2008
"Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard"
Richard Brody's very long critical biography on one of the great film artists of the 20th Century is both thoughtful, damning (in a sense) and also provocative. I don't fully buy his theory that all the films he made in the 60's was about Godard's relationship with wife/muse Anna Karina. I think it is partly true, but it's for sure not the whole picture of the man and his work. But a big part...?
i really enjoyed the part of the book that deals with Godard's later years. It seems he consistently bites the hand that feeds him. Yet, he did so in a very brilliant way or technique. He put it in his films. However after reading this book, I feel Godard maybe one of the great memoir writers on film. Which means to me that he writes or films what he's thinking about life at the moment. He sees the medium of cinema as a self-reflective tool as well as how one sees history.
And it's the last part which gets him cranky with respect to the issue of the Concentration camps of World War 2 and how it isn't portrayed in the cinematic form to his understanding or liking. In a sense he feels let down by cinema by not either exposing the condition of the camps or commenting on them. i see Godard's point of view and I think it's an original thought. Ardono says that there can't be poetry after the camps, yet Godard (I think) feels that its an area that needs to be explored. i think one of his fears is something like that happening again - and how will the media/cinema deal with it?
But that is only one issue in many issues that are daily observations on an unique artist who sees the world in a very specific way - and in such a way consistently challenges himself to question such a world and his part in that world as well.
So if you are a Godard fan read it. If not, but care about the nature of cinema and what it means to you - still read it