Histoire(s) du cinéma (1989–1999)
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La monnaie de l'absolu 

An 8-part documentary chronically the history of cinema: "All the Histories", "A Single History", "Only Cinema", "Deadly "Beauty", "The Coin of the Absolute", "A New Wave", "The Control of the Universe", and "The Signs Among Us".

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An 8-part documentary chronically the history of cinema: "All the Histories", "A Single History", "Only Cinema", "Deadly "Beauty", "The Coin of the Absolute", "A New Wave", "The Control of the Universe", and "The Signs Among Us".

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experimental film | essay | See All (2) »

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5 August 1999 (France)  »

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Followed by Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

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La nostra lingua Italiana
Written by Riccardo Cocciante
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Godard at his most insufferable
19 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

The Coin of the Absolute, the fifth part and the beginning part of chapter three to Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma opens with a rather intense and unsurprisingly incoherent monologue about the government and the oppression it brings, with Godard talking about how governments/establishments, like citizens, need to be punished when they commit crimes. This would be great in a political documentary, or one furthering or expressing an agenda - not for a miniseries that claims to analyze and explore the histories of film when it frankly doesn't do much of anything related to film analysis in the long-run.

"What is cinema?," Godard asks in the form of his trademark title cards. "Nothing," he replies. "What does it want?," he asks again. "Everything." "What can it do?" "Something." These are the thought-provoking title cards that exist in The Coin of the Absolute, which, in turn, make twenty-six minutes seem woefully longer than they really are. Godard's one shining moment in this part is he does get into discussing the job of a cinematographer and what they do, but by the time that rolls around, it's too little too late, especially with the way Godard talks about the job.

The part ends with Godard discussing "destiny" and "time" and how time actively condemns destiny. What does this have to do with cinema? Nothing. How has this entire experience been? Exhausting.

Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.


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