To celebrate the release of Jean-Luc Godard biopic Redoubtable (Godard Mon Amour), Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema is putting on a retrospective season of some of the New Wave icon’s finest early work.
One of the most influential filmmakers in the history of the medium, Godard – who just had his latest film play at Cannes! – came to prominence in the political and artistic hothouse that was 1960s Paris, developing his authorial voice at a time when a generation of French critics were codifying ideas about film and its function that are still prevalent today. It’s easier to list the filmmakers who have not been influenced by Godard, directly or indirectly : there are none. Check out Michel Hazanavicius’ look at Godard’s La Chinoise period, then follow it with a Godard classic for a night of sheer cinematic indulgence.
SYDNEY EXCLUSIVE: REDOUBTABLE (GODARD MON AMOUR)It’s 1967 and Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel) is shooting La Chinoise with his muse Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin) amid political upheaval in France. After the pair marry and his latest film receives lukewarm reviews, Godard is thrown into a crisis of ethical & romantic confidence in this wonderfully irreverent film. Directed by Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) and based on Wiazemsky’s memoirs.
BREATHLESS (À BOUT DE SOUFFLE) – 1960
The director’s audacious feature-length debut, Breathless follows petty criminal Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) whose reckless behaviour leads to the death of a policeman. Hiding from the law with his American girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg), Michel plans a daring escape to Italy in this bold and breezily jazzy beauty.
– Saturday 23 June, 3pm
A WOMAN IS A WOMAN (UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME) – 1961
The mischievously funny A Woman is a Woman stars Anna Karina as exotic dancer Angela, whose desire to have a baby is met with disinterest from her boyfriend (Jean-Claude Brialy). Angela soon turns her attention to longtime admirer Alfred (Jean-Paul Belmondo) in this witty and whimsical battle of the sexes.
– Saturday 23 June, 5pm
CONTEMPT (LE MÉPRIS) – 1963
Paul (Michel Piccoli) is a screenwriter working a high-paying job for a cynical American producer (Jack Palance). As Paul tries to resist the lure of Hollywood, his anxieties are worsened by a growing detachment from his wife (Brigitte Bardot). Set along the stunning Amalfi Coast, Contempt is nothing short of a visual masterpiece.
– Sunday 1 July, 3pm
ALPHAVILLE – 1965
Combining the genres of science fiction and film noir with effortless cool, Alphaville sees a secret agent (Eddie Constantine) travel to a distant space city in order to locate his missing colleague. After meeting computer expert Natacha (Anna Karina), he finds himself amid a heady concoction of espionage and unexpected romance.
– Friday 29 June, 9pm
PIERROT LE FOU – 1965Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as the unhappily married Ferdinand, who escapes Paris with ex-girlfriend Marianne (Anna Karina). Before hitting the road, they find a dead body in her apartment and realise that she’s being chased by gangsters. Pierrot Le Fou features wild editing, a brilliant use of colour, and Godard’s trademark dialogue that picks apart American popular culture and mass media.
– Saturday 21 July, 8pm
MADE IN U.S.A. – 1966
In Made in U.S.A., journalist Paula travels to “Atlantic-Cité” to rendezvous with her lover. When informed on arrival that he has been murdered, Paula immediately begins to investigate, encountering an array of increasingly nefarious characters in Godard’s rarely-screened final feature-length collaboration with Anna Karina.
– Sunday 22 July, 3pm