Godard on Godard Biopic: ‘Stupid, Stupid Idea.’ But the Show Goes On

From Michel Hazanavicius, director of ‘The Artist.’

Jean-Luc Godard is no less than one of the five most influential filmmakers in the history of the medium. He’s best known as the figurehead of the French New Wave, but that’s a movement that’s been over nearly a half century now, and point of fact the overwhelming majority of Godard’s 124 directing credits come after the FNW. He’s a man who started a movement and then was somewhat forced to remain in its shadow. There’s a feeling of old cinema – perhaps “classic” is the word – to the director’s oeuvre, but in truth Godard has always been at the forefront of cinematic experimentation no matter what the year or movement du jour, he’s always put innovation ahead of traditional storytelling. This is the man, after all, who gave us the famous quote: “A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, though not necessarily in that order.”

If you can find a working filmmaker worth a damn who claims to have never been inspired by a film of Godard’s, then you’ve found yourself a liar. It’s impossible to be aware of filmmaking without being aware of Godard, the two are practically synonymous. Which is why it was almost a foregone conclusion that one day someone would make a film about the filmmaker. Well, that someone is Michel Hazanavicius, director of the Best-Picture-winning ode to the silent era, The Artist, and today he released the first trailer for Redoubtable, his Godard biopic that places its focus on the director’s revolutionary period that began in the late 1960s. Louis Garrel (The Dreamers) plays Godard, and Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac) plays his love interest of the time, Anne Wiazemsky, upon whose memoir the movie is based.

The trailer’s below, and while it isn’t subtitled, the gist is conveyed through filmic language, something you’d think the man himself would appreciate, but when it comes to Redoubtable, Godard is, shall we say, less than enthused.

“Oh, to even hear about it do not want to! I do not like it. Although, in fact, do not care. Stupid, stupid idea.”

Maybe now that there are some images to go with this “stupid idea” the maestro will change his mind.

As for his own work, the 86-year-old director is currently in production on Image et Parole, which he describes as a Middle-Eastern parable about oil and control. Expect it to be nothing like what you expect.

Redoubtable also stars Berenice Bejo (The Artist) opens in the US later this year. Enjoy the synopsis below, then the trailer.

Paris 1967. Jean-Luc Godard, the leading filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky, 20 years his junior. They are happy, attractive, in love. They marry. But the film’s reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc. The events of May ’68 will amplify this process, and the crisis that shakes the filmmaker. Deep-rooted conflicts and misunderstandings will change him irrevocably. Revolutionary, off-the-wall, destructive, brilliant, he will pursue his choices and his beliefs to the breaking point… As he did with The Artist, Academy Award® winning director Michel Hazanavicius delivers another tribute to classic cinema, both wildly funny and deeply moving.

Hazanavicius Michel

Source: The Film Stage

In other news and points of interest…

…Louis CK is doing his first standup special in two year over on Netflix next month, and today we were treated to the trailer

Vanity Fair released a must-read interview with “the worst director in the world,” Uwe Boll…

Parks & Rec vets Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are reuniting for a new show

…and our boss Neil Miller held an emergency podcast to discuss the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Over in our corner of the internet we had a lot of really interesting posts go up yesterday, including reason to be excited about the Escape From New York remake, a study of the music of Blue Velvet, a look at disconnected comic book movies, a video comparing the imagery of Rogue One and the original Star Wars trilogy, and Rob Hunter’s Blu-Ray/DVD Pick of the Week.

And lastly, take a look at five of the most popular shots we tweeted over the last 24 hours. Want more? You know where to find us.

PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (2008) DP: Steve Gainer | Dir: Lexi Alexander
THE SHINING (1980) DP: John Alcott | Dir: Stanley Kubrick
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986) DP: Dean Cundey | Dir: John Carpenter
THE DEPARTED (2006) DP: Michael Ballhaus | Dir: Martin Scorsese
KOYAANISQATSI (1982) DP: Ron Fricke | Dir: Godfrey Reggio

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