PRINT October 1968

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard

EACH GODARD FILM IS of itself widely varied in persona as well as quality. Printed on the blackboard of one of his Formica-like later films, hardly to be noticed, is a list of African animals: a giraffe, lion, hippo. At the end of this director’s career, there will probably be a hundred films, each one a bizarrely different species, with its own excruciatingly singular skeleton, tendons, plumage. His stubborn, insistent, agile, encyclopedic, glib and arch personality floods the films, but, chameleonlike, it is brown, green or mudlark grey, as in Carabiniers, depending on the film’s content. Already he has a zoo that includes a pink parakeet (A Woman Is a Woman), diamond-back snake (Contempt), whooping crane (Band of Outsiders), jackrabbit (Carabiniers), and a mock Monogram turtle (Breathless).

Unlike Cézanne, who used a three-eighths inch square stroke and a nervously exacting line around

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