Godardiana

22 05 2008

S.B. & I popped by Film Forum last week, thinking to catch 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle during the monthlong Godardfest, but I’d misread the dates, so we wound up dunked in the Mao of La Chinoise. Far be it from me to complain. I loves me my Godard. His ludic, manic invention begs us to read his films against their apparent didactic frontload… a sort of “unreliable didactation,” (do you take didactation?) if you will. The effortlessness of his filmmaking seems to supply, on the fly, all the traditional cinematic exaltations even as his characters espouse away. To our surprise, Richard Brody, a New Yorker film editor and Godard nerd, was introducing the movie. Is there no end to art house hijinks (preserved posters on the walls in foreign tongues, the carefully curated review clippings yellowing under glass)? The bushy-bearded eminence, Shavian in his glee, wrapped up his remarks with “His sense of cinema was… innate. The man… couldn’t make a bad film if he tried–though after this one, he started trying a lot harder.” Elephantine red columns flank the cramped rows of the Film Forum’s screening rooms, every seat of which honors a sponsor with a small plate on its back.  Rather fittingly, the podium remained at the head of the room, a hard shape in the dark—too short, thankfully, to be silhouetted against the silver screen, though sometimes the small brass lampshade caught the light that fell from the luminous faces of the stars.

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