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Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - 2022)
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
I knew this day would come, and more likely, I would be alive. I chose to look at cinema and its history through the eyes of Jean-Luc Godard. Like David Bowie, he had the creative impulse to follow this gut feeling, but both were well-read or aware of their creative surroundings and history. I pretty much was on Godard’s side, whatever frame of mind he was in regarding his Maoist period up to his late avant-garde non-narrative works. I spent a great deal of time at a BFI movie theater to watch his Mao-period works. I thought they were great. To me, this was political art made by a person still questioning the process. This is what I loved about Godard’s work is that it didn’t have a period. It wasn’t an end of a sentence. He is one of those artists who had to take the entire works and not separate them into early, middle, and old-aged films. The complete Godard filmography is one work. The greatest artists to me, which includes Bowie, Scott Walker, Sparks, and maybe Bob Dylan (all music I know…) is that their works are not about an album but their entire career. Godard is very much part of that landscape. You can have a favorite, but one must accept that artist's whole discography or filmography. To ignore or refuse to acknowledge all of their work is an insult.
Jean-Luc Godard is more than films; he is music, fashion, philosophy, style, and an approach to the world around us. His thinking was open-ended and one of curiosity. Godard was a work-in-progress. Only death gave him the final period in his life.
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