Histoire(s) du cinéma

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Histoire(s) du cinéma
Histoire(s)DuCinema01.jpg
An image quoted from Prison (1949 film) and overlapped text Histoire(s) du cinéma
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Produced by Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, France 3, Gaumont, La Sept, Télévision Suisse Romande, Vega Films
Written by Jean-Luc Godard
Starring Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Anne-Marie Miéville, André Malraux, Ezra Pound, Paul Celan
Narrated by Jean-Luc Godard
Music by Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Arvo Pärt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Giya Kancheli, Bernard Herrmann, Béla Bartók, Franz Schubert, Igor Stravinsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, John Coltrane, Leonard Cohen, György Kurtág, Otis Redding, Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Webern, Dino Saluzzi, David Darling
Cinematography Pierre Binggeli, Hervé Duhamel
Edited by Jean-Luc Godard
Distributed by Gaumont
Release date(s) 1988-1998
Running time 266 minutes (total)
Country France
Switzerland
Language French

Histoire(s) du cinéma (French: [is.twaʁ dy si.ne.ma]) is an 8-part video project begun by Jean-Luc Godard in the late 1980s and completed in 1998. The densest, at 266 minutes the longest, and one of the most difficult of Godard's films, Histoire(s) du cinéma is an examination of the history of the concept of cinema and how it relates to the 20th century; in this sense, it can also be considered a critique of the 20th century and how it perceives itself. The project is considered the longest and most important work of the late period of Godard's career.

Histoire(s) du cinéma is always referred to by its French title, because of the word play it implies: histoire means both "history" and "story," and the s in parentheses gives the possibility of a plural. Therefore, the phrase Histoire(s) du cinéma simultaneously means The History of Cinema, Histories of Cinema, The Story of Cinema and Stories of Cinema. Similar double or triple meanings, as well as puns, are a recurring motif throughout Histoire(s) and much of Godard's work.

The film was screened out of competition at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.[1] Nine years later, it was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1997 Festival.[2]

The soundtrack was released as a 5-CD boxed set on the ECM record label.

Episodes[edit]

Histoire(s) du cinéma consists of 4 chapters, each one subdivided into two parts, making for a total of 8 episodes. The first two episodes, Toutes les histoires (1988) and Une histoire seule (1989) run 52 minutes and 48 minutes, respectively; the remaining 6 episodes, premiered 1997 - 1998, run under 40 minutes each.

  • Chapter 1(a) : 51 min.
    • Toutes les histoires (1988) - All the (Hi)stories
  • Chapter 1(b) : 42 min.
    • Une Histoire seule (1989) - A Single (Hi)story
  • Chapter 2(a) : 26 min.
    • Seul le cinéma (1997) - Only Cinema
  • Chapter 2(b) : 28 min.
    • Fatale beauté (1997) - Deadly Beauty
  • Chapter 3(a) : 27 min.
    • La Monnaie de l’absolu (1998) - The Coin of the Absolute
  • Chapter 3(b) : 27 min.
    • Une Vague Nouvelle (1998) - A New Wave
  • Chapter 4(a) : 27 min.
    • Le Contrôle de l’univers (1998) - The Control of the Universe
  • Chapter 4(b) : 38 min.
    • Les Signes parmi nous (1998) - The Signs Among Us

Films referenced and quoted[edit]

Two images overlapped in Chapter 1(a): Godard at work and Ida Lupino

Histoire(s) du cinéma is composed almost entirely of visual and auditory quotations from films, some famous and some obscure. The sources of referenced films and literary quotations are delineated chronologically by the film critic Céline Scemama-Heard, the author of Histoire(s) du cinéma de Jean-Luc Godard. La force faible d’un art.[3]

This is a partial list of works Godard drew upon to create the project; a complete list would number hundreds of entries.

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Scemama-Heard, Céline, Histoire(s) du cinéma de Jean-Luc Godard. La force faible d’un art, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2006. ISBN 2-296-00728-7 (French)

External links[edit]