>On Godard and Philosophy

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Trailer for Deux de la Vague/Two in the Wave, an in-depth analysis of the relationship between French New Wave pioneers François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, as seen through rare archival footage, interviews, and film excerpts — written by former Cahiers du Cinéma editor Antoine de Baecque and directed by Emmanuel Laurent. Read more about this film here.

Thanks to the very wonderful Girish Shambu, Film Studies For Free was lucky enough to hear of a special issue of the Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy on Jean-Luc Godard. The table of contents, with direct links to all items, is given below.

For more reading (and viewing) on Godard, do please check out FSFF‘s last post on this filmmaker in December 2010.

>25 great Godard gifts!

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 Laura Forde’s brilliant videoed presentation of her thesis:
Objects to be Read, Words to be Seen: Design and Visual Language in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard 1959–1967
(link from Atelier Carvalho Bernau) Check out Laura Forde‘s great blog Thesis Anxiety. It has a lot more Godard material.

The films of Jean-Luc Godard have been written about perhaps more than any other cinematic works, often through the lens of cultural theory, but not nearly enough attention has been paid to the role of designed objects in his films. Collages of art, literature, language, objects, and words, Godard’s films have an instant, impactful, graphic quality, but are far from simple pop artifacts. The thesis this presentation derives from, “Objects to be Read, Words to be Seen: Design and Visual Language in the Films of Jean-Luc Godard 1959–1967,” explores and interprets the role of visual language within the films—title sequences, intertitles, handwritten utterances, and printed matter in the form of newspapers, magazines, and posters.
   By examining le graphisme within the cultural context of Paris during the 1960s, this thesis seeks to amplify the significance of graphic design in Godard’s first fifteen films, beginning with 1960’s À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) and ending with 1967’s Weekend. While Godard was not a practicing graphic designer in the traditional sense, he was an amateur de design, an autodidact whose obsession with designed objects, graphic language and print media resulted in the most iconic body of work in 1960s France. [Laura Forde]



Désolée mais…Film Studies For Free‘s author has had a bit of a busy week blogging elsewhere on urgent matters.

Had things been different, today’s post might have appeared on the intended date of December 3: Jean-Luc Godard’s 80th birthday. Oh well… FSFF is pretty hopeful that Godard himself would approve of revolting students and academics and of their creative responses to proposed devastating cuts

Most of the links below were tweeted on the happy day itself by @filmstudiesff (FSFF‘s nifty, nippier, microblogging twin).

Don’t miss a much publicised on the day “Godard Birthday gift to everyone” from Atelier Carvalho Bernau,  a wonderful Jean-Luc typeface. Don’t forget FSFF‘s recent study of Godard’s 1980 film Sauve qui peut (la Vie). Et, pour les francophones: Rencontre publique avec Jean-Luc Godard. 

A belated Happy Birthday, Jean-Luc!

Godard Theses Online:

 Other freely accessible, good quality resources:

>Le Génie de la liberté: In Memory of Claude Chabrol

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Film Studies For Free was very sad to hear this morning of the death at the age of 80 of French film-maker Claude Chabrolone of the true giants of world cinema.

David Hudson is gathering links to online tributes to the filmmaker. Below, FSFF has assembled an (updated/expanded) list of links to online and freely accessible studies of Chabrol’s magnificent cinematic legacy.

    The eloquence of cinematic space: Eric Rohmer 1920-2010

    Image from La Collectionneuse (Eric Rohmer, 1967)

    “What Rohmer does, in essence, is precisely to give space to this elusive life of the heart, expanding the arena for those subtle and important personal choices which most of the time, for most of us, are squeezed below the surface made up of work and more conscious or pressing demands”, Judith Williamson [Deadline at Dawn: Film Criticism 1980-1990, Marion Boyars, London, 1993, p. 180]

    “After all I do not say, I show. I show people who move and speak. That is all I know how to do, but that is my true subject.” Eric Rohmer [“Letter to a Critic Concerning my Contes moraux]
    “Rohmer remained true to a restrained, rationalist aesthetic, close to the principles of the 18th-century thinkers whose words he frequently cited in his movies. And yet [his] work was warmed by an undercurrent of romanticism and erotic yearning, made perhaps all the more affecting for never quite breaking through the surface of his elegant, orderly films” 

    Dave Kehr [The New York Times, January 11, 2010]

    A shocked Film Studies For Free mourns the passing of Eric Rohmer, one of the key directors of the French New Wave and one of the most eloquent founders, audiovisually and verbally, of the discourse of modern cinema.

    David Hudson of The Auteurs is busily gathering links to a fantastic range of eulogies to, and other worthwhile material about, this filmmaker. Below, FSFF offers up its own (customary) tribute in the form of a list of links to online, freely accessible, and notable scholarly resources which explore Rohmer’s magnificent body of cinematic work:

                  • YouTube videos (part 1 and part 2): excerpts of Claire Denis’s film of Serge Daney interviewing Jacques Rivette on his early interest in filmmaking, his days with Cahiers du cinéma, and his first meetings with Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer (from 3 mins 30 secs). A must watch for those who haven’t yet seen Denis’s Jacque Rivette, The Watchman.

                  Online theses on the work of Jean-Luc Godard

                  Film Studies For Free was delighted to discover that Douglas Morrey‘s wonderful PhD thesis on the work of Jean-Luc Godard was now openly accessible online. Then, ecstatic, it found two more, highly worthwhile pieces of graduate research work on that filmmaker. The direct links are given below for your own delectation, delight, and film-educational betterment….

                  >Agnès Varda Podcast and Links

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                  Film Studies For Free is working on a longer post on video essays, but it had to rush to its readers, in the meantime, with the hot news of a great podcast interview with French director and film essayist Agnès Varda by a longstanding admirer and acquaintance of hers, radio journalist Ruth Seymour for the Politics of Culture slot at KCRW. Their principal topic of conversation was Varda’s latest documentary Les Plages d’Agnès/ The Beaches of Agnès (France, 2009). The interview has been online since yesterday and FSFF sends its thanks for the rapid tip-off to Sasha Berman.

                  The podcast can be accessed at the KCRW website by clicking HERE. For those interested the English-language press kit (pdf) for The Beaches of Agnès can be accessed HERE. See also Nick Dawson’s great recent interview with Varda for Filmmaker Magazine HERE.

                  Below is an FSFF selection of links to highly worthwhile and freely-accessible online material pertaining to this great filmmaker.

                  Video essay by Varda (in French):

                  Réponse de femmes, Notre corps, notre sexe – un documentaire d’Agnès Varda (1977) 7 mins 48 secs

                  ‘In 1975, it was the Year of the Woman. [French TV channel] Antenne 2 asked seven female filmmakers the question : “How does it feel to be a woman?”. They had to answer with a seven-minute movie. Agnès Varda chose to answer with the cine-leaflet “Réponses de femmes”. It is a possible answer concerning women’s bodies and the feminine condition. In this short movie, women, from female children to old women, chat about sex, desire, advertising and children (to have some or not) : “our object-body, our taboo-body, our body with or without children, our sex, etc…”. How can we experience our body? How can we experience our sex? On a white set, women, dressed or naked, try to answer the question “What is a woman?”. One answers: “To be a woman is to be born in a female body”. Nothing more, no idea of feminine essence, or predisposition to motherhood, ideas against which the feminist movement was struggling. A pregnant and naked woman, dancing and laughing loud, made a lot of viewers react : Antenne 2 got a lot of written reproaches. This cine-leaflet was aired on Antenne 2 the 23rd of June 1975. It was also nominated to Cesars 76, category documentary short-movie.’ By Feminism in Cinema weblog.

                  See IMDB entry on this film HERE.

                  Video interviews and talks:

                  Scholarly articles in English:

                  Scholarly article in French:

                  Scholarly article in Spanish:

                  Agnès Varda Podcast and Links

                  Film Studies For Free is working on a longer post on video essays, but it had to rush to its readers, in the meantime, with the hot news of a great podcast interview with French director and film essayist Agnès Varda by a longstanding admirer and acquaintance of hers, radio journalist Ruth Seymour for the Politics of Culture slot at KCRW. Their principal topic of conversation was Varda’s latest documentary Les Plages d’Agnès/ The Beaches of Agnès (France, 2009). The interview has been online since yesterday and FSFF sends its thanks for the rapid tip-off to Sasha Berman.

                  The podcast can be accessed at the KCRW website by clicking HERE. For those interested the English-language press kit (pdf) for The Beaches of Agnès can be accessed HERE. See also Nick Dawson’s great recent interview with Varda for Filmmaker Magazine HERE.

                  Below is an FSFF selection of links to highly worthwhile and freely-accessible online material pertaining to this great filmmaker.

                  Video essay by Varda (in French):

                  Réponse de femmes, Notre corps, notre sexe – un documentaire d’Agnès Varda (1977) 7 mins 48 secs

                  ‘In 1975, it was the Year of the Woman. [French TV channel] Antenne 2 asked seven female filmmakers the question : “How does it feel to be a woman?”. They had to answer with a seven-minute movie. Agnès Varda chose to answer with the cine-leaflet “Réponses de femmes”. It is a possible answer concerning women’s bodies and the feminine condition. In this short movie, women, from female children to old women, chat about sex, desire, advertising and children (to have some or not) : “our object-body, our taboo-body, our body with or without children, our sex, etc…”. How can we experience our body? How can we experience our sex? On a white set, women, dressed or naked, try to answer the question “What is a woman?”. One answers: “To be a woman is to be born in a female body”. Nothing more, no idea of feminine essence, or predisposition to motherhood, ideas against which the feminist movement was struggling. A pregnant and naked woman, dancing and laughing loud, made a lot of viewers react : Antenne 2 got a lot of written reproaches. This cine-leaflet was aired on Antenne 2 the 23rd of June 1975. It was also nominated to Cesars 76, category documentary short-movie.’ By Feminism in Cinema weblog.

                  See IMDB entry on this film HERE.

                  Video interviews and talks:

                  Scholarly articles in English:

                  Scholarly article in French:

                  Scholarly article in Spanish: