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Histoire(s) du cinéma (4 stars)

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Histoire(s) du cinéma

(18) 275min

At one moment in this four and a half hour documentary on the history of cinema, Jean-Luc Godard muses over why what we remember of Hitchcock’s films, for example, isn’t the motivation of the characters, but the specific images, like the glass of milk in Suspicion or the spiralled hair in Vertigo. Godard’s history reflects this idea of the image over the story, as he offers an imagistic account, with hundreds of clips serving as Godard’s remembrance of things past.

This is a personal history of cinema, but so personal that even the film clips we see are not named, as if what Godard wants to do is offer not a run through of film history, but a reflection of the way images that didn’t exist little more than hundred years ago, sit deeply now in all our minds. There is much more to the work than that, of course, as you would expect from a filmmaker whose films are, to quote critic Jean-Michel Frodon, ‘like brains operating at 90% of their intellectual possibilities as opposed to the majority of production which function at 10% like the normal human brain.’

(Artificial Eye DVD Retail)

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