Attributed to Jean-Luc Godard:


“Tracking shots are a question of morality.”

[on Los Angeles] “It’s a big garage.”

“There is no point in having sharp images when you’ve fuzzy ideas.”

“Every edit is a lie.”

“Up to now — since shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution — most movie makers have been assuming that they know how to make movies. Just like a bad writer doesn’t ask himself if he’s really capable of writing a novel — he thinks he knows. If movie makers were building airplanes, there would be an accident every time one took off. But in the movies, these accidents are called Oscars.”

“What I want above all is to destroy the idea of culture. Culture is an alibi of imperialism. There is a Ministry of War. There is a Ministry of Culture. Therefore, culture is war.”

“In a house there is the top floor and there is the cellar. The underground filmmakers live in the same house as Hollywood, but they work in the cellar. It’s up to them if they like to live in the dark. The Hollywood filmmakers are more intelligent, because they have that sunny top floor.”

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.”

Speaking at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival about filmmaker Michael Moore: “Post-war filmmakers gave us the documentary, Rob Reiner gave us the mockumentary and Moore initiated a third genre, the crockumentary.”

“It’s over. There was a time maybe when cinema could have improved society, but that time was missed”

“In the beginning I believed in Cannes, but now it’s just for publicity. People come to Cannes just to advertise their films, not with a particular message. But the advantage is that if you go to the festival, you get so much press coverage in three days that it advertises the film for the rest of the year”
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Comments

  • John Hutnyk  On 09/09/2006 at 3:24 pm

    Colin MacCabe in “Godard: A Portrait of the Arist at 70″, says that Godard attributed the girl and a gun comment to Griffith, but MacCabe could not find a reference to confirm this. (MacCabe 2003:391).

    Charlie Chaplin meanwhile said it differently: – “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl”. I’ve yet to source this quote.

    The very last words of the David Sterritt edited book “Jean-Luc Godard Interviews” are also good – Godard is speaking Gavin Smith in 1996 about difficulties with lighting (of the star names) on the set of his film Detective (made in the middle of shooting Hail Mary) – he complains: ‘There was a fight. But I couldn’t avoid it because it was signed on the contract. It was a compromise. A movie is always a compromise’ p193.

    In an interview with Penelope Gilliatt its reported that Godard took his ‘Certificat d’Ethnologie At the Sorbonne in the 1950s (p74 int eh Sterritt book). Though it can probably be assumed he spent a great deal more time watching American films than those of Jean Rouch etc (though he clearly did watch Rouch as well).

    Like this

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