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The Image Book

Jean-Luc Godard
Le livre d'image
Switzerland, France 2018 / 90’
The House by the Sea The Insult

Awarded a special Palme d'Or, this film essay by the 88-year-old Jean-Luc Godard is a brilliant, radical-in-form and provocative intellectual take on the film medium. Long before its premiere, Godard explained to journalists from the Russian magazine Séance that the structure of the film is like a human hand. Each of the chapters (including the ones on travel, wars and law) is a fragment of history and of life. Only when they are collected together do they give us a complete picture. Made up of fragments of classic works, news and videos from ISIS and YouTube, the erudite The Image Book talks about the terror of images, which do not so much explain the world as shape it in accordance with the wishes of politics. In the Middle East, Jean-Luc Godard looks at the issues of representation and the lack thereof, as well as the curse of the image imposed by the West, which influences how we see it. Shuffling images on the screen like cards, manipulating sound, the maker of Breathless asks what role cinema has played in 20th and 21st-century history. Has it been a chronicler of violence, a virus spreading dangerous ideologies, the guardian of the existing order, a passive observer?

Małgorzata Sadowska


Cannes IFF 2018 - Palme d'Or Spéciale

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean Luc-Godard is the father of film postmodernism as well as a radical, uncompromising avant-garde director. His feature debut, Breathless (1959), is believed to be the best New Wave film. Godard deconstructs old forms: demolishing grammar, style and existing conventions of film language, rejecting traditional rules for narration, filming with a hand-held, moving camera against the scenery of natural interiors and spaces. Over the years, cinema has become for Godard an instrument serving not only to examine and present the world, but also to impact human consciousness. Politically radical, he has twisted film posters, limited his activity to TV movies, started up his own studio and explored the possibilities inherent in video technology. In the early 1980s he returned to cinema, only to abandon stories in favour of the essay film. Godard was the subject of a retrospective at 2010 New Horizons.

Selected filmography

1960 Do utraty tchu / À bout de souffle / Breathless

1961 Kobieta jest kobietą / Une femme est une femme / A Woman Is a Woman

1962 Żyć własnym życiem / Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux / My Life to Live

1965 Alphaville

1966 Męski-żeński: 15 scen z życia / Masculin, féminin: 15 faits précis / Masculine, Feminine: In 15 Acts

1990 Nouvelle Vague / New Wave

1998 Histoire(s) du cinema: La monnaie l’absolu (z cyklu: Historia francuskiego kina)

2001 Pochwała miłości / Eloge de l’amour / In Praise of Love

2004 Nasza muzyka / Notre musique / Our Music

2010 Film Socialisme / Socialism

2013 The Three Disasters (segment in 3x3D)

Cast & Crew

director Jean-Luc Godard
screenplay Jean-Luc Godard
cinematography Fabrice Aragno
editing Jean-Luc Godard
cast Jean-Luc Godard (voice), Dimitri Basil
producer Fabrice Aragno, Mitra Farahani
production Casa Azul Films, Ecran Noir productions
sales Film Point Group
language French
colouration colour