Jean-Luc Godard

French-Swiss film director (1930–2022)

Jean-Luc Godard (3 December 193013 September 2022) was a French-Swiss film director, whose works include À bout de souffle, Une Femme est une femme, Vivre sa vie, Le Mépris, Alphaville, Pierrot le Fou, Week-end and many others.

To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body—both go together, they can’t be separated.

QuotesEdit

  • Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
    • Source: "What Is Cinema?" Les Amis du Cinéma (Paris, 1 October 1952)
    • Cited in: Paul Bowden, Telling It Like It Is, 2011, p. 182
  • Beauty is composed of an eternal, invariable element whose quantity is extremely difficult to determine, and a relative element which might be, either by turns or all at once, period, fashion, moral, passion.
  • Fifty years after the October Revolution, the American industry rules cinema the world over. There is nothing much to add to this statement of fact. Except that on our own modest level we too should provoke two or three Vietnams in the bosom of the vast Hollywood-Cinecittá-Mosfilm-Pinewood-etc. empire, and, both economically and aesthetically, struggling on two fronts as it were, create cinemas which are national, free, brotherly, comradely and bonded in friendship.
  • To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body—both go together, they can’t be separated.
    • Quoted in: Richard Roud, Godard, introduction (1967, repr. 1970)
  • The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn’t.
    • Quoted in: Richard Roud, Godard, introduction (1970)
  • Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.
    • Le Petit Soldat (film) (direction and screenplay, 1960)
    • [variation] Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second.
  • I would never see a good movie for the first time on television.
    • Source: Los Angeles Free Press, 15 March 1968. Gene Youngblood
    • Cited in: Tim Concannon, Praising Arizona (March 2013)
  • [I think] the movie is not a thing which is taken by the camera; the movie is the reality of the movie moving from reality to the camera.
    • from Gene Youngblood Los Angeles Free Press (22 March 1968)
  • In films, we are trained by the American way of moviemaking to think we must understand and 'get' everything right away. But this is not possible. When you eat a potato, you don't understand each atom of the potato!
    • from David Sterritt The Christian Science Monitor (3 August 1994)
  • American pictures usually have no subject, only a story. A pretty woman is not a subject. Julia Roberts doing this and that is not a subject.
    • ibid. <— "ibid" is deprecated in Wikiquote, because initial citations regularly become unclear, and are lost amidst multiple edits by multiple editors.
    • Cited: passionriver.com (12 March 2013)
  • Movies in Hollywood now, for the past 20 or 30 years, are made mainly by lawyers or agents.
    • ibid. <— "ibid" is deprecated in Wikiquote, because initial citations regularly become unclear, and are lost amidst multiple edits by multiple editors.
    • Cited in: Ideas, not plots, inspire Jean-Luc Godard, Christian Science Monitor (3 August 1994)
  • Zelensky's intervention at the Cannes festival goes without saying if you look at it from the angle of what is called "staging": a bad actor, a professional comedian, under the eye of other professionals in their own professions. I believe I must have said something along these lines a long time ago. It therefore took the staging of yet another world war and the threat of another catastrophe for us to know that Cannes is a propaganda tool like any other. They propagate Western aesthetics whilst thinking it is not a big deal, but it is just that. The truth of the images is only advancing slowly. Now imagine that the war itself is this aesthetic deployed during a world festival, whose stakeholders are the states in conflict, or rather “interests”, broadcasting representations of which we are all spectators for… you, like me. We often say “conflict of interest”, which is a tautology. There is no conflict, big or small, unless there is interest. Brutus, Nero, Biden, or Putin, Constantinople, Iraq or Ukraine, not much has changed, apart from the mass murder.


DisputedEdit

Clouzot: But surely you agree, M. Godard, that films should have a beginning, a middle part and an end?
Godard: Yes, but not necessarily in that order.
  • Variants:
  • A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.

Quotes about GodardEdit

  • In this profession, I always admire people who are going on, who have a sort of idea and, however crazy it is, are putting it through; they are putting people and things together, and they make something. I always admire this. But I can't see his pictures. I sit for perhaps twenty-five or thirty or fifty minutes and then I have to leave, because his pictures make me so nervous. I have the feeling the whole time that he wants to tell me things, but I don't understand what it is, and sometimes I have the feeling that he's bluffing, double-crossing me.
  • I've never gotten anything out of his movies. They have felt constructed, faux intellectual and completely dead. Cinematographically uninteresting and infinitely boring. Godard is a fucking bore. He's made his films for the critics. One of the movies, Masculin, féminin, was shot here in Sweden. It was mindnumbingly boring.
    • Ingmar Bergman, as quoted in Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the World's Greatest Directors (2014) by Robert Schnakenberg
  • As soon as we were happy, he tried to get at us by another means, another path. He provoked a new ordeal. One could have thought that it bored him, happiness.
    • Anna Karina, as quoted in Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the World's Greatest Directors (2014) by Robert Schnakenberg
  • Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung-fu film.
    • Werner Herzog as quoted in Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the World's Greatest Directors (2014) by Robert Schnakenberg

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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