Jean-Luc Godard

ECM RECORDS' IMPOSING, slipcased five-disc sound-track album to Jean-Luc Godard's four-and-a-half-hour Histoire(s) du cinéma video project (1988–98), complete with four hardcover books of images and text in three languages—all for a list price of $180—is the last word in dolorous mood Muzak. Godard's eight-part Histoire(s) is his gnomic farewell to an art form—remixing and cross-referencing a century's worth of film to evoke cinema's obsolescence at the same moment its visual traces have replaced memory and history alike. Cahiers du cinéma was thrilled by the sound track's possibilities: “Every cultivated person will feel compelled to have these CD-books as a portable audio memory, an accompaniment to every moment of their private life.” Imagine jogging to Greek choruses of old movie dialogue, dining to ambient snatches of Hindemith, Nico, Bernard Herrmann, and Godard's

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