On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is ... See full summary »
Everything returns to normal after Chernobyl. That is, everything but art. Most of the great works are lost, and it is up to people like William Shakespear Junior the Fifth to restore the ... See full summary »
Six vignettes set in different sections of Paris, by six directors. St. Germain des Pres (Douchet), Gare du Nord (Rouch), Rue St. Denis (Pollet), and Montparnasse et Levallois (Godard) are ... See full summary »
In this film, 'Her' refers to both Paris, the character of Juliette Janson and the actress playing her, Marina Vlady. The film is a kind of dramatised documentary, illustrating and ... See full summary »
How do we learn? What do we know? Night after night, not long before dawn, two young adults, Patricia and Emile, meet on a sound stage to discuss learning, discourse, and the path to ... See full summary »
Carmen is a member of a terrorist gang who falls in love with a young police officer guarding a bank that she and her cohorts try to rob. She leads him on while dragging the two of them ... See full summary »
Collection of short films the summaries of which include; a foreign man moving to Italy, getting married and having a child; a four split scene short involving plot-less images of old ... See full summary »
Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a ... See full summary »
13 European directors explore the theme of Sarajevo and what this city represents in European history over the past hundred years, and what Sarajevo incarnates today in Europe. From ... See full summary »
Droll and repetitive like a lackluster history textbook
Since the first episode of Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma, I can assure you, I think I figured out what he was trying to go for. Godard seems to be trying to illustrate the experimentation people conducted with film throughout its history, while, simultaneously, making a film that is pretty experimental as well. It's about as meta as one can be, and while it's a novel concept that has some merit, four parts in and I'm almost ready to wave the white flag in defeat to Godard's constant defiling of convention and traditionalism.
Deadly Beauty, the "b" part of chapter two in this ongoing expedition of cinema, offers about the same amount of information as the previous three chapters, which amounts to very little in the long-run. Because Godard goes for a heavily impressionistic style for a documentary that should be constantly informing, there's little information that sticks, and even the beautiful, often poetic images of films and art only linger in ones mind for a brief time before dissipating into empty thoughts.
Godard has some interesting musings in this part, however, from illustrating the idea that cinema has often been about death and murder and how we rarely see miracles like a flower blooming or a newborn baby being born. This idea that cinema has been more concerned with death than life would be hugely interesting if we saw some sort of compilation of clips alluding to that, rather than practically accepting it as anecdotal thought, but unfortunately, the idea is abandoned almost as soon as it is brought up.
On top of that, we once again witness some seriously beautiful images captured under seriously droll and monotonous narration from Godard, which is the same old vagueness in thought and idea we've gotten before. Reviewing this series has almost been as much of a task as watching it because of the fact that there is little to discuss that hasn't been brought up before. Godard has found the style, and, regardless of what I or others think, he's sticking to him. I applaud him as much as I want to never watch another film by him again.
Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.
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