By Jean-Luc Godard

ISBN-10: 0981191428

ISBN-13: 9780981191423

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The present volume does not just make the substance of Godard’s talks available to an Anglophone readership; even for readers familiar with the Albatros transcription, or the translations based on it, it is a revelation. By retranscribing the talks in their entirety from the original video recordings, rather than simply translating the French text, Timothy Barnard has reinstated a wealth of previously unpublished detail relating to their organisation and running, to the Canadian context in which they unfolded, to Godard’s working methods and to how he envisaged the project developing in future.

129 Godard postponed his next scheduled lecture (20 November 1980) until 4 and 5 December, when he pursued the method he had A R C H A E O L O G Y OF ‘ H I S T O I R E ( S ) DU C I N E M A ’ xlvii established in Montreal: screening one after another a selection of reels from different films, with a view to exploring potential affinities and correspondences between them (on this occasion Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad [1961], Ozu’s Tokyo Story [1953] and Renoir’s The Rules of the Game [1939]). The next class, which took place two months later, during the 1981 edition of the Rotterdam festival, included the most imaginative and interesting montage experiment he had attempted since embarking on the Montreal lectures three years earlier.

The contents of these drafts, however, continued to change substantially over the ensuing years up to the time of the release of the video boxed set in 1998, Godard finding them a little weaker than the others, having had the opportunity to hone his practice in the interim. While the underlying structure and principal themes remained the same, and the soundtrack was left comparatively untouched, the quantity of black screen was in­ creased. This has the effect of slowing the pace, and also brought these episodes in line formally, stylistically and rhythmically with the remainder of the series.

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Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television by Jean-Luc Godard


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