by Patrick Z. McGavin
There was a time, unmistakably, when Godard was a colossus, the most important filmmaker of his era. From March of 1960 to late December of 1967, Godard made an astounding fifteen feature films. He also made at least five shorts preceding Breathless, as well as a series of provocative, fascinating sketch works, as many as six or seven. “Today I’m going to sing the praises of Jean-Luc, who makes films just as I do, except he makes twice as many,” Francois Truffaut marveled in a 1962 essay.
Eight were shot in black and white, and the other seven in color. The spontaneity, freedom and inventiveness of the Sixties’ films are as fresh and involving today as the moment they first appeared. In her landmark essay on Godard, Susan Sontag was one of the first to capture his particular genius: “One goes to the latest Godard prepared to see something both achieved and chaotic, ‘work in progress’ which resists easy admiration.
The qualities that make Godard, unlike Bresson, a culture hero … are precisely his prodigal energies, his evident risk-taking, the quirky individualism of his mastery of a corporate, drastically commercialized art.” Sontag also observes how Godard shared, with Joyce, Picasso and Stravinsky, a “hypertrophy of appetite for culture.”
Read the rest of the article here: Light Sensitive