Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard

This little square book contains essays on Godard's films from Breathless to Two or Three Things I Know About Her. The book stops right before La Chinoise, which I think really marks a turning point in Godard's oeuvre, so I suppose one could say that this is an examination of his earlier (though still evolving) style of film.

The essays are a bit didactic for leisurely reading, though would probably serve as good food for thought after watching each film. They all begin with a brief summary of the plot, which is kind of annoying because they reveal the endings, and if you haven't seen the film you probably don't want to know that "the two are killed in a car crash" or that a character "falls to his death." They also tend to quote lengthy sections of the script, but in French with no translation.

Each entry contains a fair amount of still images from the films, which are often great photographs in their own right--for instance, the above still from Les Carabiniers.

I love this image of Jean-Pierre Leaud from Made in USA.

And this last image (on the last page of the book, opposite a blank inside back cover).

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