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At the age of 83, Jean-Luc Godard, a true titan of film, has just released his newest work, Goodbye to Language. Far from a victory lap, Goodbye to Language is instead a daring experiment in the aesthetic possibilities of 3D. The release of the film is a great excuse to (re)discover the full breadth of Godard’s incredibly provocative, intellectual, confrontational, dazzling and confounding work—the work not just of a great director, but of one of the essential artists of the second half of the 20th century.

This page collects a series of essays exploring the philosophy, politics and art of Godard’s extraordinary work, culminating in a new critical video essay. I hope these posts help provide a bit of context to an artist who often requires it. Godard made films to reflect his times, taking the temperature of the culture around him—almost always near boiling—and finding ways to place himself in dialogue with this world. Consequently, his work can be a thick stew of references, riffing on Marxist and Maoist politics, philosophy, consumer products, classical music, pop-art, high literature, and of course, films of all kinds.

It’s these variables—new connections between images, and the connections these images make with the worldthat define Godard’s cinema.

Thank you for reading.

 


Where to Start With… Jean-Luc Godard

a brief introduction to Godard’s work and suggestions for the neophyte

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Godard the Film Critic

a look at Godard’s critical writing reveals his theories on cinema

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Godard-Ism: Constructing Philosophy in Vivre sa vie

the existentialism of Vivre sa vie helps craft Godard’s own philosophical identity

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Weekend and the Radicalization of Form

how Weekend’s radical use of sound reflects its radical leftist politics

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Godard’s Aesthetic Worldview via a Rare Short

artistic form provides the center for all of Godard’s other concerns

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Photoset: Hybrid Images in Godard’s “Liberty and Homeland”

a collection of superimpositions that explore the connections between two images

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Exploding Form: Late Godard and James Joyce

finding links between Finnegans Wake and Film socialisme

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Video Essay: The Art & Politics of Jean-Luc Godard

the connection between art and politics located in Godard’s innovative montage

 


Goodbye to Language

VARIABLES concludes with a look at Godard’s masterful rumination on nature and The Image

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