Jean-Luc Godard

This past weekend saw the cinematic glory of Resident Evil: Afterlife pushing past security to get into your local theater even though it was moving slower than an instant replay in a curling match. The absolute atrocity of this film raises a lot of questions, but one of the first and foremost is whether or not directors should work with their spouses in a leading role. Paul W.S. Anderson, who thinks Milla Jovovich is as big an action star as Sigourney Weaver, is also married to Milla Jovovich, and while we can’t prove causation for the low marks in her performance here – we can certainly point to correlation. We can also point to 9 more husband and wife teams in order to find out if working with your legally bound significant other is really such a great idea.

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Veteran French filmmaker and New Wave-co-founder Claude Chabrol passed away in Paris this morning at the age of 80. Chabrol, like Éric Rohmer who died this past January, wrote for the Cahiers du cinéma film journal in the 1950s before making his own feature films later that decade alongside New Wave contemporaries Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Jacques Rivette. But while Rohmer’s late career slowed down a great deal and Godard’s oscillated between experimentation and obscurity, Chabrol continued to prove himself a particularly prolific filmmaker well after the New Wave’s late 1950s and 1960s heyday.

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Culture Warrior

Last week, the recipients of the Honorary Oscars were announced, the awards ceremony taking place at the Academy Governor’s Awards Dinner on November 13 (an evident pushback from the typical televised reception of the Honorary Oscar at the actual ceremony in the first quarter of the following calendar year). Honorary awards are being given to Veteran actor and senior-senior-citizen Eli Wallach, film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, legendary French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard, and the Irving G. Thalberg memorial award for excellent producing has been bestowed (to the surprise of no one) to the occasionally brilliant cinematic patriarch and wine magnate Francis Ford Coppola. According to the Academy’s executive director on August 25, attempts were made to contact Godard directly (by phone, fax, and through associates), but to no avail. Unbeknownst to the fact there does indeed exist television and the Internet in Paris, members of the Academy interpreted Godard’s behavior as elusive rather than evasive. Godard has a history of rejecting awards of the honorary or lifetime achievement variety, so until he makes a statement that provides an official stance, it remains likely that Godard will simply and inevitably turn this one down as well. And as well he should.

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It has been a while since The Criterion Collection has graced our shelves, but this week they bring us two films on Blu-Ray. Both films are imports from France, and both star a beautiful actress. One film comes to us from Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. The other is a more recent film starring Juliette Binoche. These two films, of course, are Vivre Sa Vie and Summer Hours.

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Those silly French, they do love to name-drop in their Cannes line-up. Twenty ten will bring names like Jean-Luc Godard, Woody Allen, Steven Frears, Oliver Stone, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and more to the world’s most glamorous film fest, the 63rd Festival de Cannes.

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So Lars Von Trier isn’t forcing Martin Scorsese to remake Taxi Driver. Who cares? Here are ten directors that the madman should punish for being geniuses.

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Film fans, please take a moment from your usual routine of not watching sports — and more importantly, complaining about those of us who do — to watch the following video. SlateV (via our friend Katey Rich at Cinema Blend) has created this little video showing us what the Superbowl might be like if it were made by auteurs.

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The answer to this question, taken literally, is “the love of cinema.” But, of course, nothing (at least, nothing in this column) is ever so simple.

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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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