Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beyond Style : Godard's "cinema of ideas" with Le Petit Soldat

“ Ethics are the aesthetics of the future “  -  Lenin, said by Bruno in Le Petit Soldat

I have always liked how Godard believes the cinema has metaphysical qualities. His films are an appeal to the emotions. Godard films illustrate ideas in a way that few others do.  He is at once commenting on images and also producing new ones. Characters sometimes speak with their backs to the camera. Everything seem to be rooted in personal experience and a man concerned with religious and literary problems.

It’s interesting to note that for a time, Godard had been good friends with director Jen Pierre Melville. But after the release of Vivre sa Vie, Melville accused Godard of making  “ a lazy man’s cinema” and subsequently, after awhile Godard said goodbye to their friendship. Melville’s change in attitude towards Godard stems mostly from a change in priorities. No longer was he making films focused on new strategies of formalism and craft but instead his films became a “cinema of ideas” . For Melville, his own work is  never interested in anything other than the craft of cinema.  His films are not meant to be seen as political or philosophical. He is essentially an anti-intellectual filmmaker and for apolitical images.

Even the famous Cahiers du Cinema in its first few years maintained an apolitical stance.   While the Algerian revolution is taking place, intellectuals not far outside Cahiers du Cinema’s circle were being arrested  for sympathising with the FLN.

Godard announces that he plans to make a film that is “something about torture”. He says that during the Algerian coup he did not even know that it was happening. This  is 1962 - 63 and is still just the beginning of one of the major achievements ever created of any personal vision of cinema.

Godard begins work on Le Petit Soldat. With no direct-sound so it could be dubbed over,  Godard could yell lines at the actors while filming. Raoul Coutard from Breahless is the cameraman. Every Godard film is like advil for the brain and everything is always beyond fresh, his aesthetic is beyond style, clearly Godardian.

Le Petit Soldat will be playing this weekend at the Cleveland Cinematheque Fri 9:35 PM

No comments:

Post a Comment