JLG and Film Language


Jean Luc Godard is a very influential figure in cinema whose work traverses many different genres and his seminal films, with the French New Wave as well as the Dziga Vertov Group, are worth examining in detail.


JLG is a controversial figure – he has declared that ‘Film is Dead‘. At the same time he has spent decades trying to formulate a new language – not written or spoken – but one based on the imagery of cinema itself. It is a language that we each develop as a repository of personal experience as we associate with the films we immerse ourselves in during our lifetime. It is also a language that contains ethnographic, humanistic, political and philosophical reflections of various nation states that produce cinemas. It is a language that reflects violence, denial, fear, love and the national psychosis at different periods of the history of the last 100 years. This is also roughly the life-span of cinema: this new fumbling, inadequate language which began as a play with light and sound and then became industrialised. He has attempted to define this language in Histoire(s) Du Cinema and we should look at his experimentation with image, sound and text in more detail. What is the relevance of this media experimentation when linked to political or cultural bodies and movements?

British Sounds also known as See You at Mao Directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Henri Roger

Letter To Jane – Deconstruction of an image

Further Reading:  Richard Brodys: ‘Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard’ Picador  (2009) is a detailed look at Godard’s life in cinema and is available in the library.


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