Cannes 2023: Jean-Luc Godard, postscript
“Godard’s last film, are you sure? » The idea of a column on Jean-Luc Godard, who died last September, is greeted by a pensive and slightly worried raised eyebrow. Breathless, Pierrot le fou And Contemptpresented in restored copy at the start of the festival to celebrate the 60e anniversary of the film, are beautiful memories of cinema, but a large part of his filmography is unknown to the battalion and of obscure reputation. In particular his political and aesthetic essays, from the “cinetracts” of May 68 to the History(ies) of cinema in the 1990s.
An experimental form that this ultimate twenty-minute short film by Godard, presented on Tuesday May 23, takes up, including in its extended title: Film announcement of the film that will never exist: “phony wars”. The work surprises, but in a good way.
Back to the essence of 7e art
A succession of still images, collages of images, of texts, sometimes crossed out with colours, the film begins with an amusing aphorism à la Schrödinger: ” It’s hard to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if it’s not there. »
Very personal adaptation of a novel by Charles Plisnier, fake passports (1937) on revolutionary figures between 1917 and 1930, the film connects the panels, cutting off music and words between each image. “Through this dry editing, Jean-Luc Godard wanted to leave room for thought. In the silence, we hear the passage of time, the living sound of the room”explains Fabrice Aragno, one of his last collaborators, who recounts, moved, how he mounted this film on his kitchen table.
“He plays on the break to get back to the essence of the 7e art, to show each of his images composed. In the last years of his life he became very interested in photography.. You don’t always have to try to understand, it’s like a cinematographic poem. »
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