Living cinema legend Jean-Luc Godard has no doubt created an oeuvre that remains appreciated, argued over and reinterpreted to this day. A new supercut video from Cinema Sem Lei showcases four Godard classics —“A Woman Is A Woman” (1961), “Contempt” (1963), “Pierrot le Fou” (1965), and “Made in U.S.A.” (1966)— filtering images and key scenes from each through the three basic colors of blue (bleu), white (blanc) and red (rouge), coincidentally the same ordered color arrangement of the French flag. Hence the title of the piece: “Blue, Blanc, Rogue – A Godard Supercut”.
With the exception of “Contempt,” all the films shown star Godard’s frequent collaborator, lover and muse Anna Karina, with many frames of the video presenting colored interpretations of memorable moments performed by the iconic actress. Other frequent Godard collaborators such as Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy and Jean-Pierre Léaud are shown wearing sharp suits, flirting with girls, carrying guns, smoking in dark blue rooms with gangsters, and driving cars casually and coolly with aplomb.
Set to “Nobody But Me” by the Human Beinz, the supercut also reveals Godard’s sublime framing of various differently colored objects, whether mundane or cinematic: red cars, dresses or ties, the chairs in a movie theater, couples conversing in bathrooms tinted by colored lights, walls painted blue, the nude bottom-halves of women on blue and red carpets, and many characters on boats against the backdrop of the blue sea and sky.
Whether the purpose of Godard’s color usage is symbolic, part of an abstract, indecipherable cinematic language, or simply has no meaning at all is the question that lies at the heart of his work. Recently winning a Jury Prize at Cannes in 2014 for his 3D film “Goodbye to Language” (“Adieu au Langage”), the 84-year old cinematic maestro does not show any signs of slowing down. In fact, he recently completed (and also starred in) a 4 minute short film in 2015, the long and windedly-titled “Remerciements de Jean-Luc Godard à son Prix d’honneur du cinéma suisse,” which can be viewed below after the supercut.