“The cinema gives us a substitute world which fits our desires.”
Andre Bazin (quoted at the beginning of Le Mepris, 1963.)
For many decades, Jean-Luc Godard has represented to some of us the past, present and future of cinema.
He was a true icon and a living presence of the Golden Age of filmmaking, yet also very much an artist of our times. A peerless auteur of the Age of Celluloid and the indelible memories it spawned. But, equally, his was a cinema about the shift to a different world and epoch – the new world we now live in as it was shaped and transmitted to us first by video technology, and then by the digital media. His films showed us glimpses of a tremulous and fleeting world but also its deeper ancestry and an inkling or prophecy of things to come.
Let me explain myself. Godard had a conscience and awareness that were linked not only to the ethical choices we must all make, but also a fearless understanding of our deep flaws and failures. To put it differently, he both loved and hated humankind. He loved it for its capacity for freedom and creativity and loathed it for its habit of forgetting and committing acts of senseless…