My Gleanings

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Agnes Varda 10 best lists Cahiers --- 1959-1963

A handful of ten best film list selected by Agnes Varda as published in Cahiers du Cinema between 1959 and 1963.
1........Hiroshima mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
2........Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)
3........Tales of Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
4........Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman)
5........The 400 Blows (François Truffaut)
6........Moi, un Noir (Jean Rouch)
7........Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol)
8........Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
9........Empress Yank Kwei Fei (Kenji Mizoguchi)
10......Ossessione (Luchino Visconti)
1........Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)
2........The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
3........L’ Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
4........Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi)
5........Le Bel Age (Pierre Kast)
..........Les Bonnes Femmes (Chaude Chabrol)
..........La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)
..........Le Passage du Rhin (André Cayatte)
..........Shoot the Piano Player (François Truffaut)
..........Zazie dans le Metro (Louis Malle)
1961-- no list
1962-- no list
(alphabetical in French)
Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier)
Bay of Angels (Jacques Demy)
Bandits of Orgosolo (Vittorio de Seta)
Les Carabiniers (Jean-Luc Godard)
¡Cuba Sí! (Chris Marker)
The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)
8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)
Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard)
Muriel (Alain Resnais)
Tom Jones (Tony Richardson)

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Jean-Luc Godard 10 best films Cahiers du Cinema 1956-1966

I have to comment here on the set-up of Godard’s list. He seems at first to be the most ploddingly linear of list-makers. Everything is 1 through 10. He never seems to have made a clean break with that linearity. In 1960, he did turn in an alphabetical list. And in ’61 and ’63 he makes some minor lumping of films at one position, but there is no clean break. He does however begin to have fun playing with the titles of films at the end of his lists in ’64 and ’65.
It also might be noted that while Truffaut, Chabrol, Rivette and Rohmer all have lists dating from 1954 (the first year that Cahiers compiled such lists), Godard's first list dates from two years later (1956). Godard left Paris in 1953, he spent some time with his father in South America and then spent more than two years back in Switzerland with his family. He returned to Paris and Cahiers in 1956.
1......Mr Arkadin (Orson Welles)
2......Elena et les Hommes (Jean Renoir)
3......The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock)
4......Bus Stop (Joshua Logan)
5......Slightly Scarlet (Allan Dwan)
6......The Saga of Anatahan (Josef von Sternberg)
7......A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson)
8......Fear (Roberto Rossellini)
9......Bhowani Junction (George Cukor)
10....My Sister Eileen (Richard Quine)
1......Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray)
2......The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock)
3......Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin)
4......Hollywood or Bust (Frank Tashlin)
5......Les Trois Font la Paire (Sacha Guitry)
6......A King in New York (Charlie Chaplin)
7......Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Fritz Lang)
8......The Criminal Life of Archibald de la Cruz (Luis Bunuel)
9......Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman)
10....Saint Joan (Otto Preminger)
1......The Quiet American (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
2......Dreams (Ingmar Bergman)
3......Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger)
4......Montparnasse 19 (Jacques Becker)
5......Une Vie (Alexandre Astruc)
6......Man of the West (Anthony Mann)
7......Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
8......L'Eau vive (Francois Villiers)
9......White Nights (Luchino Visconti)
10.....Le Temps des oeufs durs (Norbert Carbonnaux)
1......Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)
2......Deux Hommes dans Manhattan (Jean-Pierre Melville)
3......Les Rendez-vous du diable (Haroun Tazieff)
4......Moi, un Noir (Jean Rouch)
5......La Tete contre les murs (Georges Franju)
6......Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe (Jean Renoir)
7......Hiroshima, mon amour (Alain Resnais)
8......The Four Hundred Blows (Francois Truffaut)
9......Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol)
10....Du cote de la Cote (Agnes Varda)
(alphabetical in French)
Les Bonnes Femmes (Claude Chabrol)
The Savage Innocents (Nicholas Ray)
Give a Girl a Break (Stanley Donen)
Sansho (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Moonfleet (Fritz Lang)
Nazarin (Luis Bunuel)
Poem of the Sea (Alexander Dovzhenko/Yuliya Solntseva)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
Shoot the Piano Player (Francois Truffaut)
1......Two Rode Together (John Ford)
2......La Pyramide humaine (Jean Rouch)
3......The Testament of Doctor Cordelier (Jean Renoir)
4......Les Godelureaux (Claude Chabrol)
........Paris Nous Appartient (Jacques Rivette)
6......Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti)
7......Exodus (Otto Preminger)
8......Lola (Jacques Demy)
9......Escape by Night (Roberto Rossellini)
10....The Thousand Eyes of Dr Mabuse (Fritz Lang)
1......Hatari! (Howard Hawks)
2......Vanina Vanini (Roberto Rossellini)
3......Through a Glass, Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)
4......Jules and Jim (Francois Truffaut)
5......Le Signe du Lion (Eric Rohmer)
6......Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard)
7......The Flaming Years (Alexander Dovzhenko)
8......Sweet Bird of Youth (Richard Brooks)
9......Une Grosse Tete (Claude de Givray)
10.....Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah)
1......Trial of Jeanne d'Arc (Robert Bresson)
2......The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)
........The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock)
4......The Chapman Report (George Cukor)
5......Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier)
........Donovan's Reef (John Ford)
........Muriel (Alain Resnais)
8......The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis)
9......Irma la Douce (Billy Wilder)
10......Two Weeks in Another Town (Vincente Minnelli)
1......The Fiances (Ermanno Olmi)
2......Gertrud (Carl Dreyer)
3......Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock)
4......Man's Favourite Sport? (Howard Hawks)
5......The Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni)
6......A Distant Trumpet (Raoul Walsh)
7......Love with the Proper Stranger (Robert Mulligan)
8......Cheyenne Autumn (John Ford)
9......Bebo's Girl (Luigi Comencini)
10.....L'Amour a l’a(nnée pro)chaine (Claude de Givray)
1......Desna (Yuliya Solntseva)
2......Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman)
3......Journal d'une Femme en Blanc (Claude Autant-Lara)
4......Young Cassidy (John Ford/Jack Cardiff)
5......Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller)
6......Gun Hawk (Edward Ludwig)
7......Vidas Secas (Nelson Pereira dos Santos)
8......Yoyo (Pierre Etaix)
9......Lilith (Robert Rossen)
10.....Le Viel As de Pique Indigne. (A conflation of Milos Forman’s Black Peter (L'As de Pique) and René Allio’s La Vieille Dame Indigne)
Best American Films of the Sound Era (Dec 63/Jan64)
1......Scarface (Howard Hawks)
2......The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin)
3......Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
4......The Searchers (John Ford)
5......Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly-Stanley Donen)
6......The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles)
7......Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray)
8......Angel Face (Otto Preminger)
9......To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch)
10.....Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg)
Best French Films since the Liberation (Jan 65)
1......Le Plaisir (Max Ophuls)
2......La Pyramide Humaine (Jean Rouch)
3......Le Testament d'Orphee (Jean Cocteau)
4......Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier (Jean Renoir)
5......Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)
6......Les Godelureaux (Claude Chabrol)

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Claude Chabrol's 10 Best Films Lists Cahiers du Cinema 1954-1966

My notes are as always color-coded.
1……It Should Happen to You (George Cukor)
Touchez pas au Grisbi (Jacques Becker)
3……Pane, amore e fantasia (Luigi Comencini)
4……From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinneman)
5…....El (Luis Bunuel)
6…....River of No Return (Otto Preminger)
7…....Robinson Crusoe (Luis Bunuel)
8…....The High and the Mighty (William Wellman)
9…....The Desert Rats (Robert Wise)
10…..The Naked Jungle (Byron Haskin)
1…....Voyage en Italie (Roberto Rossellini)
2…....Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock)
3……The Big Knife (Robert Aldrich)
4……Ordet (Carl Theodore Dreyer)
5……Les Mauvaises Rencontres (Alexander Astruc)
6……Lola Montes (Max Ophuls)
7……The Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks)
……..Kiss Me, Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
9……The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L Mankewicz)
10….To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock)
1956 (no list)
1…...Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray)
..…...The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock)
3…...A King in New York (Charles Chaplin)
4…...Will Success Spoil Rick Hunter? (Frank Tashlin)
5…...The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi)
….....Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray)
7…...An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey)
….....The Girl Can’t Help It (Frank Tashlin)
9…...Street of Shame (Kenji Mizoguchi)
10.....Men in War (Anthony Mann)
1…...White Nights (Luchino Visconti)
.……Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
3…..The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
4…..Les Girls(George Cukor)
5…..The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk)
…….Montparnasse 19 (Jacques Becker)
7…..Une Vie (Alexander Astruc)
……The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov)
…….Les Mistons (François Truffaut)
10…The Tin Star (Anthony Mann)
1…..The Tiger of Eschnapur (Fritz Lang)
…….Tales of Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
…….Ivan the Terrible (Serge Eisenstein)
4…..Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock) ……The 400 Blows (François Truffaut) 6…..Hiroshima, mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
…….Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks)
8…..Empress Yank Kwei Fei (Kenji Mizoguchi)
9…..Head Against the Wall (George Franju)
10…The Diary of Anne Frank (George Stevens)
1…..Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)
…....Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
…....Moonfleet (Fritz Lang)
…....Time Without Pity (Joseph Losey)
…....Le Trou (Jacques Becker)
6…..Shoot the Piano Player (François Truffaut)
7......Den Blodiga Tiden [Mein Kampf] (Erwin Leiser)
........Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju)
9......Le Bal des Espions (Michel Clément
10....A Terrible Beauty (Tay Garnett)
1962(no lists)
1…..The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock)
..…..Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard)
3......The Exterminating Angel (Luis Bunuel)
........Trial of Joan of Arc (Robert Bresson)
........Whatever Happened to Baby-Jane? (Robert Aldrich)
6......8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)
7......Irma la Douce (Billy Wilder)
8......The Leopard (Lucchino Visconti)
9......Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
........En Compagnie de Max Linder (Maud Linder)
1965(no lists)
1......A Man and a Woman (Claude Lelouch)
2......La Curée (Roger Vadim)
3......How to Steal a Million (William Wyler)
......Doctor Zhivago (David Lean)
5......Is Paris Burning ? (René Clément)
7......Le Deuxième Souffle (Jean-Pierre Melville)
8......Galia (Georges Lautner)
9......The Reward (Serge Bourguignon)
10....Le Coup de Grâce (Jean Cayrol/Claude Durand)
Ten best American Films - Sound Era- (Cahiers du Cinema Dec63-Jan64)
The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg)
To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch)
Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)
Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)
Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray)
Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder)
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich)
Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan)
Ten Best French Films since the Liberation (Cahiers du Cinema Jan 65
1......Le Carosse d’Or (Jean Renoir)
2......Le Plaisir (Max Ophuls)
3......À Bout de Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard)
4......Lola Montès (Max Ophuls)
5......Le Caporal Épinglé(Jean Renoir)
6......Le Signe du Lion (except first two reels) (Eric Rohmer)
7......Les Quatre Cents Coups (Francois Truffaut)
8......Une Femme Est Une Femme (Jean-Luc Godard)
9......Casque d’Or (Jacques Becker)
10.....Le Testament du Docteur Cordelier (Jean Renoir)
What a yoking!!! What a double feature!!! Leo McCarey vs. Frank Tashlin, Deborah Kerr vs. Jayne Mansfield, Cary Grant vs. Tom Ewell

This was the only feature film that Michel Clément directed. He also worked as an assistant director on seven films, among them Casque d’Or A Man Escaped and Pickpocket.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jean-Luc Godard Histoire(s) du Cinema 4 (b) Part One

the only
the true
chapter 4 (b)
Part One
The Signs Among Us
has in his poor heart
which do not exist
and where
in order that
that they would be
that they would be
and I understand
why I met with
so many problems
just now
I know very well
what was the voice
which I should have wanted
to precede me
to bear me
to invite me
to speak
and which itself dwells
in my own discourse
I know
what was
so petrifying
in starting
to speak
since I was starting
in this place
where I once listened to him
and where he no longer is
to hear me
oh that
guessing the moment
the loneliest
of nature
my melody
complete and unique
into the night
and redoubles
and does
everything that it can
and speaks the thing
which is the thing
and falls back down
and re-echos
and brings grief
alone of sobbing
and re-echos
and falls again
according to the task
that is assigned it
sometimes I hear
telling stories
I hear
men telling stories
of the pleasure
that they took
with this one
or that one
it is not
the words sometimes
very precise
but I do not know
I wanted
to tell them
let's see
let's see
it was something else
something else
there are no words
for that
it can not be recorded
in the sentences
or rather
if I begin
a sentence
thinking that I have there
on the tip
of my tongue
the scene
the moment
the color
the undone dress
this clarity
on the body
of the woman
a shoulder
strap which slips down
and this feeling
of fear
mixed with hatred
in her
her arms
the lost head
the disorder
which reveals itelf
in the memory
I have not
truly forgotten
but it's going
if I force
the memory
all of a sudden
I understand
what is happening to me
I imagine
there it is
I no longer remember
I imagine
well, now
it is day
I think
you are deaf
Rachel, cruel
but I have
what I wanted
you have nothing
at all
to love
one needs a body
without Simon
you would not exist
you don't enter the homes
of others that way
that is not quitecorrect
this is what is correct
in 1932
the Dutchman, Jan Ort
is studying the stars
which are splitting away
from the milky way
as foreseen
gravity attracts them
to draw back
by observing the position
and the speed
of these repatriated stars
Ort was able to calculate
the mass of our galaxy
it was his surprise
to discover
that visible matter
represented only
50 per cent
of the mass necessary
for the deployment
of such as that force
of gravity
where passed thus
the other half
of the universe
the phantom matter
was born
but invisible
do not go
into that good night
it is the time when
in the countryside
we suspect
the barking of dogs
in the dead of night
the time when
multicolored parachutes
laden with guns
and cigarettes
fell out of the sky
in the light of fires
in clearings
or on plateaus
the time of cellars
and these desperate screams
which the tortured shout
with childlike voices
the great battle
of the shadows
has begun
enter here
Jean Moulin
with your terrible procession
with those who died
in the cellars
not having talked
like you
and even those
who maybe
more monstrous
after having talked
in a sense
you see
fear is all the same
the daughter of God
redeemed on the night
of good friday
she is not beautiful to see
sometimes taunted
or cursed
renounced by all
and however
do not fool yourself
she is at the bedside
of those at death's door
she intercedes
for man
and now
that night
rising in the night
every night
weak light
in the room
from there
null mystery
from the window
almost null
it does not exist
still pure
like a negative
called Ilford
Kodak or Fuji
still in one piece
and it is enough
to breath
forcefully on it
to draw it tight
whatever would be
the name of the breather
let us link together
an attractive montage
of ideas
with no points of suspension
we are neither
in a detective story
nor Celine
that one
let's leave him
he rightly merits
to suffer
and to re-enlist
book by book
in the regiments
of language
with film
that is something else
and first life
which is not new
but difficult to speak about
we can scarcely but
live it
and die it
but to speak about it
oh well
there are books
but about film
we haven't books
we have only music
and painting
and those also
you know this well
live together
but do not speak to each other
maybe you understand
a little now
what to say of it
because life
is the subject
with 'scope
and color
as attributes
if we have broad ideas
I should say
a beginning of life
a little bit
like the story
of Euclid's parallels
that is the beginning
of geometry
there have been
other lives
and there will be others
enough to think
of the blossom which is broken
of the lions
that were hunted with bows
of the silence of a spa
in the north
of Sweden
but the live
of others
for the strongest of reasons
thus life
quite alone
that I had much wanted
to pin down
to make it admired
or to reduced
its fundamental elements
to interest students
the inhabitants
of the earth in general
and the spectators
of films
in particular
in brief
the life quite alone
which I had much wanted
to hold prisoner thanks to
of nature
fixed shots
on the dead
images short
and long
of sounds loud
and feeble
of actors
and actresses free
or slave
and who knows what
but life flounders around
more arrantly than Nanuck's
between our fingers
like the memories
of Monica Vitti
in the red desert
of the suburbs
of Milan
all eclipsed
and here
I take advantage
to tell you that
as if by chance
the only
great problem
of film
seems to me to be
where and why
to commence a shot
and where
and why
to end it


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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Histoire(s) du Cinema -- Chapter 4(a) part II Method of Alfred Hitchcock

continued from:
the only
the true
chapter 4 (a)
The Control of the Universe
Part II
An Introduction to the Method of Alfred Hitchcock
we have forgotten
why Joan Fontaine
leans over
the edge of the cliff
and what it was
that Joel Mc Crea
went to do
in Holland
we have forgotten
for what reason
Montgomery Clift kept
an eternal silence
and Janet Leigh
stopped at the Bates Motel
and why Theresa Wright
is still devoted
to Uncle Charlie
we have forgotten
what Henry Fonda
is not
completely guilty
and why exactly
did the American government
employ Ingrid Bergman
we remember
a handbag
we remember a bus
in the desert
but, we remember
a glass of milk
a windmill's blades
a hairbrush
we remember
a row of bottles
a pair of glasses
a musical score
a bunch of keys
because with them
and through them
Alfred Hitchcock succeeded
right there where had failed
Alexander, Julius Caesar
to take control
of the universe
ten thousand persons
have not forgotten
Cezanne's apples
but there are millionsand millions
of spectators
who will remember
the lighter
in Strangers on a Train
and if Alfred Hitchcock
was the only
accursed poet
to meet success
it is because he was
the greatest
creator of form
in the 20th century
and that these forms
tells us
in the end
what is there at the bottom
of things
now, what is art
if not where
form becomes style
and what is style
if not man
so it is a braless
tailed by a detective
who fears the void
who furnishes us
that all of this
is only cinema
in other words
the infancy of art
at the outset
it felt
only a few things
and it thought
that it knew everything
later on
taken wholy
by doubt, distress
faced with the mystery
of life
it begins to flutter about
and now
that it feels everything
it thinks
it knows nothing
but nevertheless
from nonchalance
to anxiety
from the loving recording
at the beginning
to the hesitant but basic
at the end
it is the same central force
which has steered
we follow it from inside
from form to form
with shadow
and ray
which lurk about
illuminating this
obscuring that
elevating a shoulder
a face
a raised finger
an open window
a forehead
a baby
in a crib
what plunges
into the light
is the echo
of what engulfs the night
what engulfs
the night
plunges into the invisible
which plunges
into the light
thought, look
connect this brow
this eye, this mouth
this hand
to the volumes
scarcely glimpsed
in the shadows
of the heads and the bodies
bent around
a birth
a living death
or a death
and maybe most of all
when he had
for an implement
of work
only black and white
even then
he handles the world
as a ceaseless drama
that the day
and the darkness
delve into, convulse
hush up
and make born
and die
as bidden by his passion
his sadness
by the hopeless desire for eternity
and by the absoluteness
which overwhelms
his core
an automobile headlight
a face asleep
a darkness which comes alive
beings leaning
over a cradle
where all the light is falling
a man executed
against a dirty wall
a muddy road
hugging the sea
a bend in the road
a dark sky
a ray of sun on a meadow
the empire of the wind
discovered in a cloud
there are only black lines
a beige canvas
and the tragedy of space
and the tragedy of life
contort the screen
in their fire
cinema alone
has seen
that if each one
is at their task
the masses are organized
following an impeccable
where light falls
where it need
and disregards
where it need not
because it is necessary
to light one point
in the scene
and to let shadow
would reign elsewhere
it is alone
in having been
always present
in all
that it looked at
the only one which could have
permitted itself to mix
with the glowing of eyes
to introduce fire
to cinders
to make a rose
on the shroud
or a pale sky
as fresh
as a rose
its humanity
is really incredible
it is fateful
like a lament
like love
like the exchange
indifferent and unending
between all that is being born
and all that
is dying
in following
our walk towards death
on the trail of blood
which marks it
cinema does not cry
over us
it does not comfort us
since it is
with us
since it is
we, ourselves
it is there
when the cradle lights itself
it is there
when the young girl
appears to us
leaning out the window
with her eyes
which know not
and a pearl
between her breasts
it is there
when we have undressed her
when her taut torso
at the throbbing
of our lust
it is there afterwards
when she is old
her face
is sunk in
and her hands shriveled
tell us
that she does not hold it against
for having done her
it is there
when the women
opens her knees for us
the same motherly feeling
that she has
in opening her arms
for the child
it is there
when the fruit
falls from her
one, two, three
how many times
in her life
it is still there
when we are old
when we look ahead fixedly
towards the side of the night
which is coming
and it is there
when we dead
and when our cadaver
passes the shroud
into the arms of our children
there it is
I am yours
which I am
which I am
who wants
to be remembered
must entrust himself
to oblivion
and this chance that it is
complete oblivion
and to
this beautiful chance
which then becomes
Continued at:

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Histoire(s) du Cinema -- Chapter 4(a) Control of the Universe Part I

the only
the true
chapter 4 (a)
The Control of the Universe
Part I

in a voice soft
and faint
speaking of great things
of important
of profound
and fitting things
in a voice
soft and faint
the threat of thunder
the presence of the uncompromising
in the call of a robin
in the fine detail
of a flute
and the fragility of its pure sound
the sun suggested
a half smile
oh quiet voice
and a kind of murmur
in an immeasurably pure French
which had not grasped the words
heard at a distance
should have known that it spoke of nothing
for an ear
but this contrast and this music
this voice
barely wrinkled the air
this whispered power
this perspectives, these discoveries
these abysses
and these imprecise maneuvers
this smile dismissing the universe
I muse also only to cease
at the silken noise
alone and low-key
of a fire smoldering
while giving form to the room
and which tells itself
or tells me
almost for itself
the spirit is true
only when it manifests its presence
and in the word manifest
there is hand
love is the fulfillment
of the spirit
and love of your fellow man
is an act
that is to say an outstretched hand
a draped sentiment
an ideal
which happens on the road to Jericho
in front of a man
stripped by brigands
police, propaganda
that is the hand
that is the name of the tyrant god
that the proudful reason of men
knew how to create in his image
when the word
is destroyed
when it is no longer
the gift
that one makes to another
and that engages something
of his being
it is human friendship
that is destroyed
such is anxiety of peoples
it is not material
at first
it is this anxiety
of the heart and of the spirit
which is born of the death of friendships
I do not believe
in mysterious voices
but I do believe in the appeal of deeds
let us consider the times
the places where we live
the precise situation
which was made for us
and the appeal which it resulted in
and after that
let us judge
today's Europe
in this Europe
two kinds of nations
those that are called
and those that are called
those which have kept
a certain number of possibilities
but which do not know well enough what to do
with this liberty which they brag on
and those
which have made or undergone since the wars
a revolution of the masses
and which have freedom of opinion
that is to say
the freedom to complain
but without deep passion
and where poverty is on its doorstep
but you could say that the is nothing left
to do except to wait
last argument
last basis of the community
it is the background
of all our dramas
our thoughts
our actions
and even our utopias
being very clearly understood
that the essential is not
what the dictator thinks
is not material urgency
but a higher truth
which is the truth
at the height of a man
and I might add
at the tip of his fingers
it is the great time for thought
to become again what it is
in reality
dangerous for the thinker
and reshaping of the real
there where I create
I am authentic
wrote Rilke
some think. it is said,
others act
but the true condition of man
is to think with his hands
I will not speak adversely
of our tools
but I would like them to be usable
since it is true, in general
that the danger is not in our tools
but in the weakness
of our hands
it is no less urgent
to specify
that a thought which is abandoned
to the pace of its clockwork
becomes proletarian
I mean
that such a thought
no longer lives its creation
others mold the man
I reveal
whom these others are
we now know it
they are the laws
out of the abandonment of thought
where are those responsible
they are not the parties
they are not the classes
nor the governments
they are the men
one after another
yes, I am one of them
up to my ears in anger
torn apart
by the insurmountable irony
if not, I would not be crying out
but silence
is not conferred on man
by his own effort
silence and pitiable intelligence
are the work of forgiveness
it is your business
not mine
to reign over absence
a poet said
true violence
is the deed of the spirit
all creative act contains a threat
for the man who dares it
it is in tis way that a work
moves the spectator or the reader
if the thought refuses to weigh on
to become violent
it exposes itself to submit fruitlessly
to all the brutality
that its absence unlooses
we will sometimes be tempted
to wish that in France
the activity of mind
became again
a jailable offence
that would make it
a little serious
to free spirits
the locus of all decision
which does create
is the individual
from whence it follows
that all the unrest in the world
is nothing more
than a certain question
which is addressed to me
and is made clear in myself
only at the instant
it binds me to act
the partisans of "us"
made an error
regarding the individual
the contradictions of the world
figure in the fundamental
of all existence
"x" is an individual
an element-creator
an incalculable freedom
as much as he is man
is rightly a creator
but a creator created
is an expectance
that we are saved
but this expectance is true
for the time destroys the deed
the deed is the judge of time
though the acrobat
is in the grip
of the most unstable equilibrium
we make a wish
and this wish is
strangely double
and null
we wish
that he fall
and we wish
that he hold on
and this wish is necessary
we can not
not form it
in all contradiction
and sincerity
this is that it depicts naively
our soul
in the same instant
it senses that the man will fall
ought to fall, is going to fall
and in itself
it consumes the fall
and defends itself
by desiring what it foresee
he has already fallen
for it
it does not believe its eyes
its gaze will not follow him
on the rope
will not push him lower
at each instant
if he had not already fallen
but she sees
that he is keeping hold
and she must agree
that there are thus reasons
making him keep hold
and appeals to these reasons
begging them to last
sometimes, the existence
of all things
and of ourselves
appears to us
in this sort
first, images
but those
of which Saint Paul spoke
which are a death
ccontinued at

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Jean-luc Godard Histoire(s) du Cinema 3(b) A New Wave

Voila chapter 3(b) of Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinema --- Un Nouvelle Vague (A New Wave)
This continues from:

Note: "The River" is the film from 1929 directed by Frank Borzage

The text in italics is in English in the original. It is roughly a quote from Shakespeare's King Lear.


of cinema
the only
the true
Chapter 3(a)
Frederic C

have you any knowledge
of the ten historic propositions
of the old testament
Scholem's text contends
that a tradition exists
regarding the truth
and that the tradition is communicable
I laugh
for the truth which is questioned here
by us
has all manner of attributes
but certainly not one
of being communicable
then what are you talking about
I do not see
you say it very well
I do not see
and nevertheless I have seen it
yes, I will say that
in all the countries in which there are men
who fight
for a society
where one will not be enslaved
by money
you can not understand that, you
one does not live to earn money
if, listening to you
I begin to understand it
but from that point
where it would be
an obsession
you never think of something else
of love
no, never
perspective was the original sin
of western painting
Niepce and Lumiere
were its redeemers
and when I admire a film
they say to me
yes it is very beautiful
but it is not cinema
I then asked myself
what is it
I come to eliminate nothing
but to perfect
on the contrary
you can not serve
equally god
and money
when you give alms then
your left hand does not know
what your right hand is doing
so that your alms thus
remain secret
and your father
who always
sees your secret deeds
would know to repay you for it
and you will be judged
as you judge others
that it will be granted to you
to enforce justice
in complete equity
for it is with the measure
that you are going use to measure
that you will be measured
here this ought to be
the daily prayer
but come help me, good Lord
le grisbi
oh return to the native country
oh return of the one
who no longer needs
to be a guest
oh when thus
was the end going to emerge
was it going to appear
was the curse
going to be broken
and was their a last degree
in the amplification
of silence
it seems to the individual
but how much
how much sobbing
for the air of a guitar
but evil exists still
the voice of man
blended into the fabric of the universe
no answer
it seemed
that there ought not to be any answer
before the day
as if everything, anew
was only an expectation
an expectation of the daystar
as if no longer next to this
anything else
was legitimate
it was because for one last time
night summoned its powers
to conquer the light
but it will be from the back
that the light is going to strike the night
and at first, very gently
as if it did not wish to alarm it
the whispering
that man has noticed
a long time ago
o so long ago
well before man existed
the whispering
the last lesson
of Fernand Braudel
he spun no yarns
as Etienne Jules Marey
had asked him
the holy man picked up the trail
and took the measure of
the identity of France
the identity of cinema
the identity
of the new wave
one night
we went over
to Henri Langlois'
and then
there was the light
it's that, right?
the true cinema
was even for our provincial eyes not
the face of Madame Arnoux
in the dreams
of Frederic Moreau
cinema, we knew it
by Canudo
by Delluc
but without ever having seen it
it had no relationship
with the films of saturday
those of the Vox, the Palace, the Miramar
the Varietes
for those films were
for everyone
not for us
save for us
since the true cinema
was the one that could not be seen
was only that one
it was, it was
Mary Duncan
wasn’t it
Jean George Auriol
but one would never see
The River
and we had to like it
and inside out
for the crowds in October
and for those in Que Viva Mexico
isn't that right
Jay Leyda
for the streetcars
in Sunrise
isn’t that right
Lotte Eisner
because forgotten already
proscribed still
invisible always
such was our cinema
and this remains for me
and Langlois confirmed it for us
his exact words
the image is first off of the order of redemption
attention, that of the real
thus we were, more
dazzled than than El Greco in Italy
and Goya in Italy
and Picasso before Goya
we were, without a past
and the man of the Avenue de Messine
gave us the gift of a past
metamorphosed into the present
in the depths of Indochina
in the depths of Algeria
and when he screened L’Espoir
for the first time
it was not the Spanish Civil War
that jolted us
it was the brotherhood of metaphors
she’s gone for ever
I know
when one is dead
and when
one lives
lend me a looking-glass

our only error then was to believe
that it was a beginning
that Stroheim had not been
that Vigo had not been
covered with mud
that the four hundred blows would continue
when they would flag
and thirty years later
it had to be admitted
that if the will had been beaten
it had to be admitted
that this had to be
because this was not through will
but through weakness
and maybe, right?
it rest for me
to know at last
that the force of weak interaction
the fourth wall of the house of the world
according to the physicists
that this weak force
is also that of art
and of its babe in arms
what is this museum
of T-shirts
new wave, Audrey
new wave
and Daumier, what relationship with the new wave
we’re closing
we’re closing, children
you can ask a guard
does this please you
yes, there are some interesting things
I am not of that mind
you see with no end photos of works
but none of people
it was that, the new wave
the politique des auteurs
by the auteurs
the works
your friend is right, miss
first the works
then the men
Thus you haven’t any heart, mister
you can film work
miss, not hearts
I don’t know, its the time of the unemployed
and so who is without work
it is time which has
too many hands
and not enough heart
yes, a time without heart
but not without work
when an epoque is sick
and has no work
for all hands
it is a new exhortation
that is addressed to us
the exhortation
to work with our hearts
in place of
working with our hands
and I do not know the epoque
not yet
which had employment
for all hearts
Jacques Demy
you knew them
yes, these were my friends

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