“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times a second,” spoke the inimitable but often emulated Jean-Luc Godard, an auteur with film pulsating through his veins. Commencing with 1960’s “Breathless,” his first feature-length film, and the one that catapulted his legendary career, Godard’s become one of those directors with his own adjective, an instantly recognizable artist whose erudite work continues to inspire cinephiles all over the world.
While simultaneously launching the careers of ex-wife Anna Karina and "Breathless" star Jean-Paul Belmondo, amongst others, JLG beautifully coalesced the worlds of philosophy, politics, and humanism into marmoreal works of art.
In this new video essay for Criterion by frequent contributor kogonada, the close-ups, the oddball sequences, and the brilliant, adjunct mood changes are all slyly pieced together. They’re calibrated to appreciate the beauty of each scene, and the essay as a whole.
With moments from several of his films that are a part of the Criterion Collection such as “Vivre Sa Vie” (“My Life to Live”), “Pierrot Le Fou,” “Le Mépris” (“Contempt”), and “2 or 3 Things I Know About Her,” this is a must-watch for any Godard fan, or nouvelle vague admirer alike.
What’s your favorite moment from a JLG film? Let us know in the comments below.