Das Kleine Chaos: 1966 Short Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Here’s a 1966 short crime film by a young and learning Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The great and too-soon-departed German filmmaker actually plays one of the three young criminals who decide to invade a woman’s home to terrorize and rob her. The film is relentlessly cool and begins at around the 3 minute mark to really show how deeply Fassbinder was mining the work of Jean Luc Godard. Those shots in the apartment with Fassbinder reading the novel out loud in front of a wall of pinned art prints is straight up Godard stuff. But it’s just fine to imitate other filmmakers as long as your real intention is to destroy them from the inside. Fassbinder was just that kind of filmmaker.

Here’s an article about Fassbinder on the Senses of Cinema site.

Histoire(s) du cinema: According to Jean-Luc Godard

Between 1988 and 1998 filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard made a film called ‘Histoire(s) du cinéma.’ Though it purports to be a sort of cinema history, reflecting on how cinema intersects with the 20th century, I think it is more likely a vision of how cinema works in the mind of one filmmaker. The images drift in and out, overlapping and complimenting one another just as they would in the mind. Don’t look for accuracy or understanding. Just watch the film. It’s very difficult to find pieces of this lengthy work online. But these are three good chunks and they certainly stand up as a taste.

More about the film at Mubi.

Voices: Documentary on Jean-Luc Godard Filming ‘One Plus One’ with the Rolling Stones

Here’s a film begun by director Richard Mordaunt. It shows Jean-Luc Godard working on scenes from his film, ‘One Plus One,’ that featured the Rolling Stones as they recorded ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ in 1968. Godard always has something nearly unintelligible to say but which ends up making perfect sense later on. You might also note that Godard seems to have very little in the way of a plan as he shoots his scenes. He appears to discover his scenes as he goes.  That is the only kind of intelligence in filmmaking that I can truly respect.  A director with a storyboard is usually a jackass.

Thanks to Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds.

Jean-Luc Godard Interviews Woody Allen

Jean-Luc Godard interviews Woody Allen… sort of.  What is clear to me from watching this video is that Woody Allen is an ordinary thinker.  Jean-Luc Godard is not.  And frankly I’m not certain who is funnier.  I think this is a devastating dismantling of Mr. Allen.  It’s bordering on open mockery.  Watch how Allen looks at Godard.  He hasn’t the slightest idea what’s going on.  Every single answer Allen gives is perfectly expected and we’ve heard all of them before from a hundred other filmmakers.  Godard’s questions however, come dropping out of the bottom of a 747 that’s flying without a pilot.

Jean-Luc Godard’s New Trailer is the Entire Film!

Film director Jean-Luc Godard has made one of the sharpest comments on copyright, piracy and film advertising that I have ever seen by releasing a trailer for his upcoming new film, Socialisme, that is actually the entire film in super-fast forward for 1 minute and 7 seconds.  This is wit and intelligence like no other filmmaker in the world can muster.  Once you see the opening presented to you by the films of Godard it becomes very difficult indeed to get up the energy to go watch highly paid American film stars mug and smile their way through belabored mega-scripts that seek opportunities to display Coke bottles and laundry detergent alongside Aston Martins and designer shoes.  You begin to see that the Hollywood product is in reality just a very large catering operation and that movies are made with approximately 10 to 20 times the resources actually required to make any given film.  American films, even the ‘independent’ ones, are shot from exactly the same point of view and think that movies are about telling stories.  They are conceptually still living in the 19th century.  They all adhere to the ‘beginning, middle and end’ framework and they uniformly lead to a ‘climax’ and a ‘resolution.’

Godard, on the other hand, functions in the present, treats film as an actual art form, and always uses a unique point of view that cannot be pinned down or turned into a style.  He is death to James Cameron.  He murders people like Woody Allen.  He makes Scorsese look like the heavy-handed New York buffoon that he is.  Godard makes films by persuading people to give him money on the basis of totally fake scripts, then shows up with a note pad and a bunch of confused actors and decides literally on the spot what he might want to be making that day and hopes for the best when it comes to fitting his material inside the structure of a project he might happen to be working on.  In short, he works just like an artist is supposed to work.  He works from himself.  The fact that we have been misled by a century of industrial product aimed at showing us Paul Newman’s teeth is not of any concern to him.

If James Cameron showed up at my door with a contract to be in his next film, I would shove him backwards off my front porch.  But I would fly to Europe to stand in the background of a Godard film for free.