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Jean-Luc Godard: Perspectives

With a career spanning over 60 years and some 140 films, from the iconic works of the New Wave to the cinema essays he became known for, Jean-Luc Godard, who passed away in September 2022, was the epitome of cinema.

With this season, Ciné Lumière aims to offer a critical perspective to different periods of Godard’s filmmaking, with talks by prominent scholars and Godard specialists, to help navigate this huge, at times difficult, and often joyful body of work. We’ll also explore his wide and ongoing influence on contemporary filmmakers, artists and fashion designers.

Over the years, Godard has created his own public persona, his sole name became a mythology in itself. He has now left us with his many films to discover or watch again, as a testimony to the strength of cinema and the moving image.

Uncompromising, formidable, Godard has left a rich, multiple and multiform body of work and has also generated his own sea of publications. From his association to the creation of what became known as the ‘cinéma d’auteur’, his many encounters often followed by radical breaks, his love and profound knowledge of film history, his undying curiosity for new technologies of the image, his endless play with words and language, as well as his strong, often total political commitments, his complex view of the world transpires in his critical essays and films.

Jean-Luc Godard: Is Everyone Equal Before Images
Sat 4 Feb 16:00, Ciné Lumière II

This programme curated by film critic and curator Federico Rossin addresses the ambiguous position taken by Jean-Luc Godard all along his film career as a commentator of images: was he really considering everybody equal before images or was he dominating the audience with his male authoritative voice?

Letter to Jane (1972), an essay in the form of a film centered on a single photograph, has been criticized as statement of the male dominance over the female figure. Taking as a point of departure a photograph of actress Jane Fonda in Vietnam, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin reflect on the role of intellectuals in the revolutionary process, but as male narrators they impose their authority and dominance as masculine subjects. In Photos et Cie (1976) Godard broke this monolingual male voice-over working with his partner Anne-Marie Miéville.’ – Federico Rossin

Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still
Jean-Luc Godard et Jean-Pierre Gorin
France, 1972, 52 minutes, French with English subtitles

Six fois deux / Sur et sous la communication 3a : Photo et Cie
Jean-Luc Godard et Anne-Marie Miéville
France, 1976, 46 minutes, French with English subtitles

This programme is curated and presented by Federico Rossin in partnership with Open City Documentary Festival.

Political films: What is to be Done?
Sat 4 Feb 18:40, Ciné Lumière II

London by Godard will be celebrated through the outlook of the seminal UK film magazine Afterimage which emerged in the wake of post-1968 cultural and political change and published thirteen issues between 1970 and 1987, including Jean-Luc Godard’s manifesto on making political films.

In British Sounds, Godard, believing that the narrative film was outdated and bourgeois, let loose a propagandistic audio-visual barrage on the senses that combines Maoism, the Beatles, multiple soundtracks, minimal cinema, nudity (accompanied by a women’s liberation statement), and excerpts from Nixon, Pompidou, and the Communist Manifesto, all ending with a blood-spattered hand painfully reaching for a red flag.

British Sounds (See you at Mao)
Groupe Dziga Vertov, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Henri Roger
UK, 1969, 51 minutes, English

Screening introduced by Simon Field, one of the contributors of The Afterimage Reader (ed. Mark Webber, The Visible Press, May 2022) and editor of Afterimage. In partnership with Open City Documentary Festival.