Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

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domino harvey
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#76 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:03 pm

It's in Gaumont's Politique DVD box set with English subs, but considering it and Hard and Soft are now the only two films in the box not out on Blu-ray elsewhere, it's prob not worth it

dda1996a
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#77 Post by dda1996a » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:12 pm

Having bought this set, is there any online source with English subs that u can watch? I have access to all other GDV films and this lack of completion will drive me crazy

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#78 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:48 pm

Here are English subs to download for the film, if someone has the technical know-how to put that together with a video of the film somewhere.

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SpiderBaby
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#79 Post by SpiderBaby » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:50 am

Here is Pravda.

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liam fennell
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#80 Post by liam fennell » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 am

I'm the worst poster in the world and I hope no one minds me essaying some thoughts on one movie from this much-anticipated box of not exactly highly recommended or lauded films. The Godard I really like is the guy working in the late 70s through the early 80s, and I found this exotic box set impossible to resist despite all the caveats that go along with these films. I got my money's worth already!

I watch the 80s pictures in small doses -- usually 30 or 45 minutes at a time because they are so exhausting -- but they are amongst my favorite things as they are so rich, strange, beautiful, rarefied, and frankly uncommonly funny. I just about die laughing whenever I watch Prenom: Carmen or Detective. I've never laughed at anything like I laugh at these things. They provide me with an extraordinary pleasure, that pleasure being essentially cinematic in nature (I'm not watching these for the story!) The Godard of the 60s is I think a more ordinary pleasure in comparison -- which is not to say those pictures are worse! just his earlier works bear a greater resemblance to normal movies and I do watch them for the story more than anything else. I may be alone in this, but that's how I view these movies.

I mention the above because I watched 45 minutes of Vladimir & Rosa last night and laughed like a maniac the entire time, often despite myself; the humor I find is Godard is quite often cinematic in nature -- it is humor constructed from the unique temporal language of cinema -- and disconnected from what is being depicted! In this case what is depicted is sometimes disturbing, and caused me to question myself repeatedly as it was so enjoyable. A very invigorating film so far, and interesting on many levels. Can't wait to go home and finish it tonight!

For the record as I don't understand the social and temporal context of this movie at all, same for La Chinoise and Tout Va Bien, and the radical Marxist lens the authors apparently view things through baffles me entirely; indeed I'm so willfully naive and apolitical I don't know or care about the difference between right wings, left wings, and turkey wings. This is like a movie from an alien planet to this 34 year old uneducated American. I even found the booklet accompanying the release to be completely unreadable and obtuse -- much moreso than Vladimir and Rosa! Which is to say I'm possibly a bad reader of this kind of movie (and booklet), and that should be taken into account.

That said, the first half of the movie at least is loaded with an abundance of engaging stuff. It is a messy kaleidoscope of ideas, images, interesting characters, contradictions, poetic polemics, and there's even the semblance of story. Godard & Gorin play the title characters, and narrators, and they often seem to be reading the film's script aloud which is a conceit I like. The subject matter is deadly serious but treated like Looney Tunes -- I can't take the movie entirely seriously but I can't dismiss it as just a joke, either. This madcap tonality is admittedly often super uncomfortable, but a constructive kind of uncomfortable, I think. The handmade 16mm feel is very appropriate, and the two authors are omnipresent. It works. The Dziga Vertov name proves to be a good one: spinning top indeed! The intent to have an intent...

I don't know, maybe the other movies in this set aren't half so rewarding, but this one sure is! The aftershave commercial was neat, too!

dda1996a
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#81 Post by dda1996a » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:56 am

I find it odd you will watch half a film at a time...
Anyway I'm still waiting for this to arrive, but as I'm a Godard novice, is there an order I should go through his filmography? I am planning to go chronologically and then go through this when I get there, what about the other 70s films and later 80s like Passion and Detective? And are his essay films like Nouvelle Vague, Film Socialism and Historie(s) Du Cinema worth the hassle?

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domino harvey
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#82 Post by domino harvey » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:01 pm

Nouvelle Vague and Film Socialisme aren't essay films, though like most late period Godard, they're not exactly narrative powerhouses

dda1996a
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#83 Post by dda1996a » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:01 pm

As I've only heard about them, that was as close to a description I could muster. Anyway my main question still stands

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Rayon Vert
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#84 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:29 pm

They're all worthwhile in my view. Histoire(s) and Film Socialisme are among his top works. The late 80s work, though, can be close to impenetrable. For any Godard novice planning to go through his entire oeuvre, I would recommend doing so alongside a book like Brody's biography focusing on the work, or the equally excellent shorter book by Douglas Morrey in the French Film Directors series.

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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#85 Post by Oedipax » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:44 pm

Nouvelle Vague is one of my very favorite Godards, and not a hassle at all!

dda1996a
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#86 Post by dda1996a » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:51 pm

And my question was in order to avoid this, as it is known everyone has a different favorites regarding Godard. What makes his 80s films like Passion, Hail Mary, Detective etc. more difficult than his 90-now work? And also is the book by Michael Witt on Historie(s) worth it?

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knives
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#87 Post by knives » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:40 pm

He's chilled out in a lot of ways. His toughest period in definitely the one covered by this box (really until Every Man for Himself) where he was experimenting in a way I don't think he entirely understood how to do (I mean this as a compliment) while working through political ideas he was too immature and an ideologue to really handle (that is not a compliment). After though he seemed to get a better grasp of what experimentations and narative worked for him and so the films are a lot easier on that level. As for the 80s/90s split I feel, but am probably wrong that part of it is that he had a need to be acidic about his return to capitalist cinema in a normative way that he got over by the 90s.

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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#88 Post by WmS » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:45 pm

His post-1980s works also make reference to European history and high culture like he used to put Hollywood in-jokes into his 60s films. Some references (the stolen gold in Film Socialisme) are quite obscure.

I've been working through all of Godard (that I can find) since January and it's funny to me how much these Dziga Vertov Group films fit in with the rest of what he's done: natural light portraiture (usually of of brunettes), flat mise-en-scene, use of bold color (red) and paint and pop art. Based on reading James Monaco's very good 1975 book The New Wave about twenty years ago and just now seeing them, they're not as much of a rupture as I thought they'd be. Vent d'Est could be a v. low budget B-side to Week-End, and while Lotte in Italia was a dialectical slog, at least it was nice to look at. Maybe if I'd been alive and a cinephile in 1970 I would have been very upset.

I find the Sonimage films and videos that come right after more of a leap. Like in Six Fois Deux, he's collaborating again (now with Mieville) and working through the implications of the thinking behind Le Gai Savoir and the DVG films, but using video like a sketchbook. They are also often less imperious and more humane: I love Six Fois Deux's interview with the farmer, and the one with the amateur filmmaker.

And the more text and background on these films you can get, the better. Richard Brody's biography devotes a lengthy, substantially-sourced chapter to the film and May '68, especially good on why Maoism was such a thing.

Michael Witt on Histoire(s) is definitely worth it, as is the more jargon-y Late Godard by Daniel Morgan.

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domino harvey
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#89 Post by domino harvey » Thu May 24, 2018 8:18 pm

Finally got around to revisiting all these films and watching the extras. I’d never seen the Schick commercial before, and was not surprised to hear it was never aired— typical take the money and run scheme on the part of Godard et al there, I suspect! Based on Witt's tale of how most of the budget for Vent d'est was funneled virtually everywhere but into the film itself, who knows how much of the commercial budget even found its way on screen!

In my Quixotic quest to defend an unpopular film, I was once again reminded of the scene in La Redoubtable that I think acknowledges Godard’s skill and importance as an artist by showing his struggle with the committee-filming in Vent d’est while watching the film itself. It honestly only cemented my thoughts on Hazanavicius’ film being more sympathetic to Godard’s importance as a filmmaker, even if it is less than impressed with him as a human. I don’t think any of these films work as political tracts because they are pitched to the choir and yet inaccessible for those who would be most served by their message. Oh and also because like 90% of the time they are fucking incoherent. But they have a certain charm, and the lazy ambition in most of these works is admirable.

I thought Witt’s comments were exhaustive and yet concerned almost wholly with historical context and production histories, and very little in the way of analysis. I found this disappointing, especially considering the length of the discussion. While I appreciate the production histories, and Witt clearly has researched and thought about these films and how they were financed/made, I think this is a missed opportunity for a collection of films that are incredibly difficult, even for art house fans used to being challenged. I also think Witt practices some selective arguments, as when he highlights the use of a feminist text in British Sounds while conspicuously leaving out the not unimportant fact that this excerpt is read at-length by a fully nude woman, which complicates the argument that Witt is trying to sell here. Broadly it seems that Witt values these films (and he’s apparently not alone, though I was not surprised to hear Straub thought the worst film here and probably Godard’s worst film overall, Un film comme les autres, was his greatest overall work, considering how little I’ve gotten out of the Straub films I’ve seen), which is great, but he also seems unwilling to really engage with the criticisms that have been lobbed against them, other than to briefly acknowledge how all of them were greeted poorly by audiences and financiers and giving more focus to the few vocal fans who loved them. It is not hard to see why audiences rejected these movies, and engaging in their complaints would serve to improve arguments for finding favor now.

I did appreciate the hat tip to the Wollen book Signs and Meaning in discussion with Vent d’est, as I think he’s quite right that any reputation the film has is thanks to that influential work. I also loved that Arrow let Witt record thoughts on films not included in this set. This is a great idea and I’d love to see this on a larger scale sometime. Imagine Arrow putting their resources towards a huge Hitchcock set that contained none of the features that they’d never get Universal to license, but which contained a wonderful appendix of extras for these films regardless— no one is better at producing extras right now than Arrow, and it would be great if they’d follow this idea to its natural extreme.

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swo17
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#90 Post by swo17 » Thu May 24, 2018 9:45 pm

He's, uh, no Hitchcock, but Arrow's H.G. Lewis set did this as well, with extras covering his nudie cuties and a children's film that weren't included in the set.

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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#91 Post by whaleallright » Thu May 24, 2018 11:30 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:01 pm
Nouvelle Vague and Film Socialisme aren't essay films, though like most late period Godard, they're not exactly narrative powerhouses
For a while there Godard was fairly devoted to "adapting" canonical stories (Mérimée/Bizet for Prénom Carmen, the Bible for Hail Mary, Shakespeare for King Lear, Greek mythology for Hélas pour moi, etc.)—in a fashion that's more than just the citations of stories you often find in his more recent work. I find the ways in which Godard fractures, submerges, reroutes, combines, and sometimes plays straight with the familiar tales one of the more interesting aspects of this period of his work.

There was definitely a cheerfully opportunist aspect to this; "Godard does Shakespeare" or "Godard does the Bible" are definitely good "hooks" for ballyhoo, at a time when his name still commanded some commercial attention. At some point, more or less around the same time he stopped working with stars and his video/collage work started to bleed into his features, he gives these conceits up.

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domino harvey
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Re: Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-71

#92 Post by domino harvey » Fri May 25, 2018 11:01 am

swo17 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:45 pm
He's, uh, no Hitchcock, but Arrow's H.G. Lewis set did this as well, with extras covering his nudie cuties and a children's film that weren't included in the set.
Apparently the extra on Black Venus does this as well

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