Monday, December 3, 2007
Today is Jean-Luc Godard's birthday. I love Godard...I absolutely adore him. He was the first French director I ever really fell in love with, and his films have led me to so many other directors and for that I will always be grateful. As I get older I find myself gravitating more and more towards his peers like Truffaut, Rohmer and Rivette but Godard will always be the man...he will always be the one who first made me question what cinema was, and the one who in film after film gave me the answer. So for his birthday here are a few things I love about Jean-Luc Godard.
I love your early black and white pictures like BREATHLESS, MY LIFE TO LIVE and THE LITTLE SOLDIER. I love the grain, the shadows and the way you seem to be reinventing the cinema you had loved so much as a youth in every frame.
I love those early eye popping color features and the way you photographed Anna Karina and Brigitte Bardot in them. Films like A WOMAN IS A WOMAN, PIERROT LE FOU and COMTEMPT are among the most beautiful and trans-formative films ever made. I feel changed every time I watch them.
I love when you got more and more political, nasty and angry...that two or three year period just before you announced the 'end of cinema' during those closing credits of WEEKEND when you made TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER and MADE IN U.S.A. You were like a beautifully bruised punk poet scraping together the last cinematic evidence of a period that would quickly be over.
I love your difficult video productions of the seventies, and think that many of your greatest work can be found in these pieces. Films like NUMBER TWO continue to haunt and invigorate anyone lucky to come across out of print copies of them.
I especially love your '68 Comeback' as it was in 1980 with SLOW MOTION, possibly your greatest and most undervalued work. I love the films after as well like DETECTIVE and FIRST NAME CARMEN where you re-embraced film as your true love, but you didn't let go of the rage you found in the seventies.
I love you as the self described aging Swiss business man of the past twenty years still capable of transforming film into your own specific medium. I love that I can still feel you deconstructing and rebuilding this art form that you alone seem to totally grasp.
I love that you probably wouldn't give a damn what I love...
So happy birthday to one particular aging Swiss business man who at 77 is still changing lives and sticking it to the man as I type this. Here's to many more years of GODard...no one else has ever come close.