There is a sense in which the speed and inevitability of film's development will quickly and inevitably render most criticism obsolete. Its radical novelty and uniqueness lie in the unparalleled malleability of the temporal medium that gives us an unprecedented grasp upon the nature of causality itself. It is this that confounds the noblest attempts to constitute its ontology.--Annette Michelson, preface to the English translation of Noël Burch's Theory of Film Practice (Secker & Warburg, 1973), p.xi.COHN-BENDIT: These screens, this equipment, these videos, these books... you're really gonna get rid of everything?GODARD: But it's not getting rid of things — it's all just a bygone era. Anne-Marie [Miéville] did it before I did. It's over — you can barely create anything. The cinema is a small society that was formed a hundred years ago, in which there were all these human connections, money relationships, relationships having to do with women — and that's gone. The history of the cinema isn't one of films, just like how the history of painting isn't one of canvases. The cinema barely existed. I personally attempted to turn it into something else. But these days, I'm on my last legs.--FILM SOCIALISME: Jean-Luc Godard in conversation with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Télérama 3148, 13.05.2010. Trans. Craig Keller: Cinemasparagus, 16.05.2010.
DEATH IS REPRESENTED IN THIS FILM BY A FLOW OF IMAGESA FLOW OF IMAGES AND SOUNDS THAT SUPPRESS SILENCE
A SILENCE THAT BECOMES DEADLYBECAUSE IT IS PREVENTED FROM GETTING OUT ALIVE
COHN-BENDIT: You also show that Europe's original sin is Palestine. You put this across with two or three images and a very old photo.GODARD: That's one of the first photos that we have of Palestine, and it's Elias Sanbar who tells the story: in 1839 Daguerre presented his invention, the daguerréotype, at the Académie des sciences. A swarm of photographers then rushed off to the holy lands, and nowhere else. Probably because there was a desire to see if the words of the Bible were true.COHN-BENDIT: There are people obsessed with the Jews, and when they're told, like Shlomo Sand, that there are Jews, but that Jewish citizenry is a legal creation of the '40s, they go nuts and don't accept this discussion. And there are others who are obsessed with the Palestinians. The two tell me so much about how things operate. They're looking for the ultimate victim, shoving it in our faces. I for one say: cut it out, I'm not on any one side, let's try and have a discussion... Why this obsession with Palestine in your work?GODARD: Palestine is like the cinema: it's searching for independence. It took me ten or fifteen years to say to to the producer: you've agreed to put out so much money, give it to me, I'm the one who handles it. That's been a real fight, even with Jean-Pierre Rassam, to get control over the film. Just like with my father: you've agreed to give this to me, don't ask me what I'm going to do with it, have faith in me. Nicolas Seydoux, of Gaumont, told me: well look it, the money I'm giving you — are you gonna blow it?COHN-BENDIT: If someone proposed to you to set off for Israel and Palestine with your new little cameras, would you go?GODARD: But you don't film that way! Some people do it, they're documentaries, sometimes interesting ones. I watch the discussion programs a lot, like C dans l'air, but I do it for practice, to see if I still have the ability to give a comeback.--FILM SOCIALISME: Jean-Luc Godard in conversation with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Télérama 3148, 13.05.2010. Trans. Craig Keller: Cinemasparagus, 16.05.2010.
Ici et ailleurs - JLG & Anne-Marie Miéville, 1976, 16mm/video