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film

SYNC OR SWIM

Jean-Luc Godard, Le livre d’image (The Image Book), 2018, HD video, color, sound, 84 minutes. 

“Believe me, we are never sad enough for the world to be better.”

FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING, Jean-Luc Godard’s Le livre d’image (The Image Book, 2018) could not be more of the moment. It is almost without narrative constraints—the most abstract in the series of collage films that spin off from his epic Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988–98)—and is thus as ephemeral as a dream. I saw it twice at Cannes in May, and although I still remember the intensity of the experience, the details have fled my mind. Le livre d’image is also the most melancholy of his late films, yet it is framed with an injunction to keep hope alive, a demand that comes as close to offering a definition of what great art does as you’re ever going to get from Godard.

More rapidly edited and visually explosive than Histoire(s), Le livre d’image revisits 120 years of cinema. A meditative, first-person voice-over

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