Yearly Archives: 1968

Godard — A critical anthology (1968)

From Film Society Review, Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 1968). — J.R.


JEAN-LUC GODARD: A critical anthology

edited by Toby Mussman. New York: E. P.

Dutton & Co.,1968., 319 pages,$2.45 (paperback).


For most people interested in Godard, Toby Mussman’s collection of writing on his films is bound to be useful. For this reader, it manages to be both indispensable and exasperating. For its range and its better pieces, it far outflanks the two previously published books on Godard in English — Richard Roud’s GODARD (Doubleday) and THE FILMS OF JEAN-LUC GODARD (another anthology, edited by Ian Cameron and published in England by Studio Vista). But like its predecessors, it suffers from wildly uneven displays of taste and judgment.

To take a case in point, one is grateful for the seven pieces by Godard in the book, which throw considerable light on his work and are fun to read besides; included are the scenarios of A WOMAN IS A WOMAN and VIVRE SA VIE, a fascinating monologue on PIERROT LE FOU, and a reply to critics of LES CARABINIERS. But the English translations of most of these pieces are grotesque. Unless the reader knows the French titles of American films, references to LA CROISIERE DU NAVIGATOR (Keaton’s THE NAVlGATOR) and “the ‘Aurore’ trolley” (the trolley ride in Murnau’s SUNRISE) are likely to appear meaningless; the English rendering of “Feu sur LES CARABINIERS” — “Taking Pot Shots at THE RIFLEMEN” — is a product of the translator’s cuteness, not Godard’s.… Read more »

Godard: Cities and Carwrecks (1968)

From Film Society Review (Vol. 4, No. 2, 1968), the first film magazine I ever wrote for. The was the second of my three pieces for them. -– J.R.

Godard: Cities and Carwrecks

By Jon Rosenbaum


“The impact of progress turns Reason into submission

to the facts of life, and to the dynamic capability of

producing more and bigger facts of the same sort of life.”

— Herbert Marcuse, ONE DIMENSIONAL MAN


“A heaving sea of air hammers in the purple brown dusk

tainted with rotten metal smell of sewergas . . . young

worker faces vibrating out of focus in yellow halos of

carbide lanterns. . . broken pipes exposed. . . .”

“They are rebuilding the City.”

Lee nodded absently. . . . “Yes… Always . . .”

— William S. Burroughs, NAKED LUNCH

In Godard’s 2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D’ELLE, Paris is shown and described undergoing a series of strange mutations. One of the most evident of these changes is the monstrous high-rise housing complexes that are being put up in the suburbs, la région Parisienne (the “elle” of the title). Certain housewives living in these new acres of concrete, in order to help ‘make ends meet,’ spend their afternoons in the city as part-time prostitutes.… Read more »