Video Series Burnishes Image of France's Jean-Luc Godard

Article excerpt

Jean-Luc Godard's public image continues to grow among American audiences. Recent months have brought his Bosnian war drama, "For Ever Mozart," and the national reissue of "Contempt," his 1963 masterpiece starring Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance.

Now his video series, "Histoire(s) du cinema," appears to be almost ready for its long-awaited American premiere. In a Museum of Modern Art screening in New York recently, two of the latest chapters attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd, suggesting that Godard may soon reclaim the position he held in the 1960s as one of the world's most widely known and hugely influential filmmakers.

The word "histoire" means both history and story, and at heart "Histoire(s) du cinema" is both: a history of filmmaking, and a deeply personal story of what movies have meant to Godard throughout his cinema-struck life. The range and variety of the series have been clear from installments shown on previous occasions, and the episodes screened at the museum illustrated these qualities again. …

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