Jean-Luc Cinéma Godard

FEBRUARY 6-8, 15-16, 20-28


6:30PM - DOORS

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“Still the single most influential artist to take cinema as his medium ... No film artist who has ever lived would be more justified than Jean-Luc Godard in thinking: Le cinéma c’est moi.J. HOBERMAN, NEW YORK TIMES

“One of the greatest artists at work in any medium ... Godard’s work, whether it’s on film, video, or HD, unfolds like no one else’s, and shocks the viewer into a new relationship with the world and with images.”

As one well-known estimation of Jean-Luc Godard's significance has it, "There is the cinema before Godard, and the cinema after." Easily the most important and influential filmmaker of the past fifty years, Godard is also, more than any other director, the cinema's great modernist — an innovative artist whose work has transformed and reinvented his medium. Young cineastes, generation after generation, continue to pay Godard tribute and acknowledge their indebtedness to him. Godard himself has continued, throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the 21st-century, to create some of the most startling and original films in contemporary cinema. This later work will be the subject of a second Godard retrospective, a Part 2, we plan to present at The Cinematheque later in the year. But the spotlight here is on Godard's first 15 features, from Breathless (1959) to Weekend (1967) — the films that bear much of the weight of the lofty claims to Godard's importance and which continue to provide such astonishment and inspire such devotion. Iconoclastic, idiosyncratic, intellectual, allusive, elliptical, semiotic, self-conscious, confrontational, political, kaleidoscopic, mischievous, meta-cinematic, movie-obsessed, formally daring, and delirious, these 15 seminal, epochal films display Godard's transformational talents in all their exhilarating splendour. All are key texts of the great French New Wave of 1960s of which Godard was a pre-eminent emissary. All reveal an artist gloriously deserving of the insouciance which had him once sign one of his films (it was the Quentin Tarantino favourite Bande à part) as “Jean-Luc Cinéma Godard.”



Acknowledgements: The Cinematheque is grateful to Florence Almozini, French Embassy and Cultural Services (New York); Sarah Arcache, Consulate General of France (Toronto); Jean-Sébastien Attié, Alliance Française (Vancouver); and Raynald Belay, Consulate General of France (Vancouver) for support and assistance in the presentation of this retrospective.

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Recent Showings

Godard's debut is one of the cinema's watershed works — perhaps the most influential film of the 1960s and a leading contender for the "Coolest Film Ever Made"!
Godard's follow-to to Breathless was the first French film to deal openly with the Algerian crisis, and was promptly banned by the French government.
Godard's exuberant third feature is his first in colour and CinemaScope, a loving hommage to MGM musicals that garnered Anna Karina the Best Actress prize at Berlin.
The director's fourth feature, a key work in his artistic evolution, has been called a "celluloid love letter" to his then-wife Anna Karina.
Godard’s odd, absurdist anti-war fable met with such extreme critical and popular hostility upon its original release that it was hastily withdrawn from Parisian cinemas!
This ingeniously self-reflexive work is the first and finest of many Godard films about the making of a film. It has been hailed "the greatest work of art produced in postwar Europe."
Godard's hugely-influential film, a mix of science fiction and film noir, is a pop-art-meets-pulp-fiction take on the dehumanizing effects of contemporary corporate/computer culture.
This work of giddy, glorious spontaneity and self-reflexivity is one of the quintessential achievements of Godard's most fertile period.
Godard's "tour de force" is a high-style, free-form exercise in the sociology of contemporary womanhood, centring on 24 hours in the life of an adulterous wife in Paris.
NEW RESTORATION! This milestone political documentary features contributions from an array of (mostly) French greats, including Godard, Marker, Varda, and Resnais.
Godard is in fully glory in this marvellous disquisition on youth, sex, politics, sexual politics, and pop culture presented as a 15-point investigation into "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola."
This widescreen, movie-mad remake (of sorts) of Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep features Anna Karina in the Bogart role as a private-eye investigating the murder of a former lover.
"Arguably the greatest film made by arguably the most important director to emerge since WWII," it is a kaleidoscopic treatise on consumer society as brothel.
Godard's first return to the gangster genre since Breathless is an "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka" tale of three Parisian students who plot a burglary.
Godard's astonishing 15th feature is one of the director's pinnacle achievements, a savagely funny, surreal epic satire of our car-crash culture hurtling towards its apocalypse.
"Godard's best film by far since Breathless" is a spectacularly colourful pop-art collage-portrait of five student radicals in a Paris apartment plotting an assassination.