April 24, 2013 |
Jean-Luc Godard made his second feature film, "Le Petit Soldat," in 1960, but it was banned until 1963 because of its tough look at the then-current French-Algerian conflict and unblinking portrayal of torture. Opening Friday at the Nuart in a new 35-millimeter print with fresh translation and subtitles, the often-overlooked film provides a lens through which to view the French director's unparalleled streak of provocation and productivity in the 1960s, as well as a startlingly contemporary-feeling counterpoint to recent politically tinged war films such as "Zero Dark Thirty.
July 5, 2012 |
Maybe it's the hint of Bastille Day in the air, or perhaps it's just an opportunity to use some playful alliteration, but Film Independent at LACMA is going all Gallic on us in July with a series cheerfully titled French Film Fridays. Whatever the reason, it's a pleasure to welcome these screenings to town. The eight rarely seen movies spread over four Fridays are not only a tonic to experience; they also remind us of how strong and wide-ranging the French passion for film has been.
June 22, 2012 |
It could be argued that the most pivotal chapter ofJean-Luc Godard's shape-shifting career - as well as one of the most neglected - is the period of video-based experimentation of the mid-'70s. Emerging from a militant post-'68 phase, during which he formed the Dziga Vertov Group, in an effort to "make films politically," Godard developed a complex method of merging and pulling apart images, sounds and text - a dense, sometimes dazzling analytic approach that defines a significant portion of his work to this day. New to DVD from Olive Films, "Ici et Ailleurs" (1976)
January 20, 2012 |
Over the course of a career that stretches back more than 50 years, Jean-Luc Godard might have cultivated a reputation as a maker of forbiddingly dense, impenetrably allusion-heavy films, but his work also always holds the potential to offer something groundbreaking and new. Despite (or maybe because of) his penchant for provocation and predilection toward the obtuse, he was and remains a rare, uncanny mix of professor, trickster and crackpot, guardian of the past and gatekeeper of the future.
September 25, 2011 |
Jean-Luc Godard, in one of his countless musings on the love of his life, once said: "The cinema is halfway. We go halfway and the audience meets us halfway. But we have to agree that we need a meeting point. … The image is a meeting point. " The words are from 1981, and since then the two sides have been meeting less and less frequently. Like the late periods of John Coltrane and Miles Davis in jazz, late Godard will never enjoy the appeal of his early classic era. Many devotees of classic Godard view the subsequent films as artistic solipsism.
August 21, 2011 |
Minute for minute, there is almost certainly no more influential figure in all of cinema than Jean Vigo. You could watch all his films in a single sitting in about the time it takes to get through "Transformers: Dark of the Moon. " Vigo's one feature and three shorts fit on a single DVD — and they will be available Aug. 30 in a Criterion Collection set titled "The Complete Jean Vigo" (both standard-definition and Blu-ray), supplemented with a second disc of extras that includes tributes, new and old, from his many illustrious fans, among them François Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Michel Gondry.