Film: Prénom Ernesto

Marvelous movie! Prénom Ernesto was made by Gabriel Dib and it stars Ernesto Salles as Ernesto and Debora Gaspar as Anna K.  It’s in Portuguese and I don’t understand more than several words of it but I don’t have to.  It’s a wonderful film that is inspired and heavily influenced by the work of Jean-Luc Godard.  The filming of traffic at the beginning of the film is a Godard signature, the gunshots on the soundtrack, the sudden on-screen titles and the quote from Godard that goes, ‘All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun.’  That’s essentially what this film is about.  It’s shot with that casual sense of people interacting with objects that Godard perfected in the early sixties. Dib has made a very careful and productive study of Godard’s technique and uses it in a way that shows how fresh and modern it still is.

Jean-Luc Godard Film

Film director Jean-Luc Godard is making a film that appears to be called Le Socialisme.  I’m not entirely certain, but it sure looks to me from this trailer for the film like Mr. Godard is shooting with a small video camera.  I can even hear the wind hitting the microphone during shots on board the ship.  He’s always had a keen interest in shooting with small cameras, going so far at one point as to have a tiny 35 mm camera designed for one of his films in the seventies.  I like this kind of filmmaking.  This is how a filmmaker approaches a method that resembles the method of the painter or the writer.  Filmmaking, for all its technical achievements and its massive budgets and enormous popularity, lags far behind painting, photography, writing and music.  A filmmaker, in order to really be an artist, must be capable of functioning with the autonomy of the writer or the painter or the composer.  Until then, the filmmaker is simply interested in socializing, not making art.

Mr. Godard’s films are often difficult, infuriating, perplexing, gorgeous, ugly, profound, ridiculous, and experimental – but they are always, without a single exception, the expressions of an artist who owes nothing to anyone.

Jean-Luc Godard Talks About Critics, Bardot and TV

Jean-Luc Godard is one of the only film directors in the history of cinema to make films as if the camera were a pen.  For some reason, when a writer writes about their own experiences they are called a genius.  When a film director does it they are often called self-indulgent.  Godard has made some of the greatest examples of personal cinema.  His ability to consistently fool producers and studios into believing him and supporting his artistic dreams and whims is a rare talent.  This is a man who is known to have presented film studios and even government censors with entirely fake screenplays that had absolutely nothing to do with the film he was about to make.  This is the true genius of the French New Wave in the 1950s and 60s.  He went farther and deeper into the language of film than any of the other directors famous for New Wave works.