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International and Art-house Cinema Thread

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  • FairWeatherAffair
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    #1202996811

    Just a place for us here in the forums to touch upon some of the less-discussed work within the form, with a particular bent toward art and experimental cinema from around the world.

    Need not be focused on recent releases – but I imagine that will dominate.

    Welcome all!

    I’ll start with a question: has anyone caught Godard’s The Image Book yet this year? Premiered at Cannes last year, where it won a Special Palme. I adored the film, which has obvious connections to Histoire(s) du cinéma, and felt Godard pushing into some very bleak territory. He is justifiably angry with the failures of society and the failures of cinema. Any thoughts?

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    Marco11
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    I have! And I also have a nice story about it. I went to a cinema to watch it, together with a guy who studies in the same film school I study in.
    The film started and we immediately fell in love with the audacity of it. And then, the audio went off for a long time (like, for whole minutes) and we both thought, “how daring of Godard! Such an interesting conceptual choice!”. And then someone else in the audience who had already seen it said that actually it was not normal, and in fact apparently the copy of the film had a huge problem. We left after some time because other technical problems happened. The arrogance of young and pretentious film students was punished, lol.
    But when I finally watched a good copy of the film, the whole experience was extraordinary. Unpopular opinion, I liked it better than Goodbye to language! I thought it was clearer in its aim without ever, ever being didascalic or unchallenging. It almost makes you rethink of the whole way you use to watch films, forcing to consider that there might be other options! It might be bleak, but it’s also very lucid. I didn’t find it “angry”, did you?

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    FairWeatherAffair
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    Sorry for the late reply, Marco!

    What a hilarious tale – as annoying as it may have been at the time, that’s also just a fun experience/story, so hopefully you can think of it fondly.

    Perhaps “angry” was the wrong descriptor; there is a purveying sense that Godard is struggling to rectify the representation of our modern horrors with fact and fiction. As cinema has progressed over the last century, has actual violence converged with the filming of violence?

    I read a bit of writing that ended with the line “The party is over,” which I really liked.

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    Marco11
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    has actual violence converged with the filming of violence?

    That’s very interesting, can you elaborate a bit further with this thought? If you have the time and the patience 🙂

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    FairWeatherAffair
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    That’s very interesting, can you elaborate a bit further with this thought? If you have the time and the patience 🙂

    Sure!

    I suppose it’s a bit like wondering whether, in contemporary filmmaking, if there is a difference between an act of violence, and filming an act of violence. Cinema has (or, rather, had) the power to transform societal conceptions of war and genocide and rape and, well, violence; yet, now, audiences turn to cinema not for challenges to these inhuman impulses, but specifically for the depiction of such acts.

    Obviously, one’s mileage may vary when it comes to Godard’s relaying of this conundrum, but I find it fascinating: if cinema has failed in one of its central abilities (using imagery and sound as a reflection/critique of reality), can we justify Tarantino’s filmed violence against women (or hippies, or what have you) in the same breath that we condemn Manson and his real-life companions (as an example)?

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