Godard On Godard

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Da Capo Press, Mar 22, 1986 - Performing Arts - 292 pages
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Jean-Luc Godard, like many of his European contemporaries, came to filmmaking through film criticism. This collection of essays and interviews, ranging from his early efforts for La Gazette du Cinéma to his later writings for Cahiers du Cinéma, reflects his dazzling intelligence, biting wit, maddening judgments, and complete unpredictability. In writing about Hitchcock, Welles, Bergman, Truffaut, Bresson, and Renoir, Godard is also writing about himself—his own experiments, obsessions, discoveries. This book offers evidence that he may be even more original as a thinker about film than as a director. Covering the period of 1950–1967, the years of Breathless, A Woman Is a Woman, My Life to Live, Alphaville, La Chinoise, and Weekend, this book of writings is an important document and a fascinating study of a vital stage in Godard's career. With commentary by Tom Milne and Richard Roud, and an extensive new foreword by Annette Michelson that reassesses Godard in light of his later films, here is an outrageous self-portrait by a director who, even now, continues to amaze and bedevil, and to chart new directions for cinema and for critical thought about its history.

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Page vii - How, then, can several texts be attributed to an individual author? What norms, related to the function of the author, will disclose the involvement of several authors? According to Saint Jerome, there are four criteria: the texts that must be eliminated from the list of works attributed to a single author are those inferior to the others (thus, the author is defined as a standard level of quality); those whose ideas conflict with the doctrine expressed in the others (here the author is defined as...
Page vii - The author explains the presence of certain events within a text, as well as their transformations, distortions, and their various modifications.... The author also constitutes a principle of unity in writing where any unevenness of production is ascribed to changes caused by evolution, maturation, or outside influence. In addition, the author serves to neutralize the contradictions that are found in a series of texts.
Page viii - The beauty of each of these close-ups, with their searching attention to the passage of time, comes from the sense that necessity is intruding on triviality, essence on existence.
Page vii - In addition, the author serves to neutralize the contradictions that are found in a series of texts. Governing this function is the belief that there must be - at a particular level of an author's thought, of his conscious or unconscious desire - a point where contradictions are resolved, where the incompatible elements can be shown to relate to one another or to cohere around a fundamental and originating contradiction.

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