Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Godard

The Super Bowl

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February 4, 2011 at 11:08 am

Tarantino as Godard

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Cut Basterds open, and you’ll find the Godard gland pulsing, secreting, hyper-charged. It is exactly this reality about the film, and about Tarantino and so much of the best modern movies, that goes unacknowledged in our culture; a paradigm shift is required that’s feared by the broader populace, not unlike the manner in which they fear learning anything substantial about public policy and choose their political alliances instead by way of “liking” Bush or Obama or Sarah Palin.

….I’d hate to see Tarantino get any more messianic than he seems to be already, but he might just be the salvation of movies, as the art form we’ve come to love over the last century and miss so very much. Via @DanHF.

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December 15, 2009 at 11:12 am

Godard et Tarantino

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Could it just be that Tarantino and Godard are essentially the same filmmaker, except part of different time periods and totally different societies? That’s the question Kenji Fujishima asks today at the House Next Door.

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October 9, 2007 at 12:35 pm

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Is Godard’s Contempt really “the greatest work of art produced in post-war Europe”? I don’t know about all that, but I watched it for the first time tonight, and I can assure you that it doesn’t suck.

Here’s a capsule summary from Phillip Lopate’s take for the Criterion Collection, which strikes me as a worthy start, if not an exhaustion of the film’s possibilities.

Contempt is an ironic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey. At one point Camille wryly summarizes the Greek epic as “the story of that guy who’s always traveling.” But Paul’s restlessness is internal, making him ill at ease everywhere. In modern life, implies Godard, there is no homecoming, we remain chronically homeless, in barely furnished apartments where the red drapes never arrive. Paul’s Odysseus and Camille’s Penelope keep advancing toward and retreating from each other: never arriving at port.

But the film also resembles another Greek tale, Oedipus Rex. Paul is infantilely enraged at the threatened removal of the nurturing breast, and jealous of a more powerful male figure who must be battled for the woman’s love. The way he keeps pressing to uncover a truth he would be better off leaving alone is Oedipal, too. His insistent demand to know why Camille has stopped loving him (even after she denies this is the case) helps solidify a tentative role-playing on her part into an objective reality (“You’re right, I no longer love you”). Anxious for reassurance, he will nevertheless only accept negative testimony which corroborates his fears, because only the nightmare has the brutal air of truth, and only touching bottom feels real.

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June 2, 2007 at 5:37 am

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