Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy birthday, JLG: Godard turns 77

Funhouse deity Uncle Jean has a birthday today, so I thought the best way I could celebrate him would be to do another “survey” post, giving you the best of the JLG clips posted on YouTube. All I have to say is that he is one of the greatest cineastes the world has ever seen, and fascinated by the fact that all of the members of the French New Wave (except Truffaut, who died in his 50s of cancer) have had long, healthy lives and are still making kick-ass cinema in their 70s and 80s. Whatever was in the water in France in the 1920s and ’30s bred some pretty durable geniuses….

Uncle Jean was honored this past weekend in Berlin with by the European Film Academy. True to form, he didn’t show up (we fans remain content that he is as cranky and publicity-shy in his 70s as he was when he was in 30s and 40s).
Here’s a partial translation of a German interview with him (with links to a French TV talk):

And now the links:
The trailer for one of the premier achievements of his “golden” period, Pierrot Le Fou:

The unforgettable “music video” trailer for Masculin-Feminin:

The trailer for my favorite of his “comeback” period, Prenom Carmen:

His Marxist film British Sounds, put up by Funhouse friend and vid-liberator Paul Gallagher

An interview with Godard during his heavy Marxist period, with hair and the growth of a beard (!). Even at his most “wild-eyed radical,” he was still a mellow, thoughtful soul:

Soft and Hard, his exploration of the “battle of the sexes,” starring he and his partner Annie-Marie Mieville:

Godard the ad-man, selling cigs:

Selling jeans:

A bit of cinema poetry, from the anthology film Ten Minutes Older.

A slice of his brilliant major work Le Histoire(s) du Cinema:

Something I’d never seen at all, unsubbed bit from Cinema Cinemas:

Rare American TV interview:

And, as a finale, his bit from the very hard-to-find (in the U.S., at least) Room 666, by Wim Wenders:

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