Yearly Archives: 1968

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