Tag Archives: American Cinematheque

JEAN-LUC GODARD — THE IMAGE BOOK

Johnny “Guitar” Logan (Sterling Hayden): Don’t go away.

Vienna (Joan Crawford): I haven’t moved.

Johnny: Tell me something nice.

Vienna: Sure. What do you want to hear?

JohnnyLie to me. Tell me all these years you’ve waited. Tell me.

Vienna“All these years I’ve waited.”

Johnny: Tell me you’d have died if I hadn’t come back.

Vienna: “I would have died if you hadn’t come back.”

Johnny: Tell me you still love me like I love you.

Vienna: “I still love you like you love me.”

Johnny: Thanks. [Takes another drink.] Thanks a lot.

The cinema of Jean-Luc Godard—unmatched in its longevity and rigor—is a history of versions, revisions, and doubles, and his new work The Image Book (Le livre d’image) is a filmmaker’s autobiography by a cineaste whose curiosity shows no sign of flagging. The film has five sections, referencing the fingers of a hand, and borrows from a century of footage, including clips from his own durational Histoire(s) du cinéma.

As in all of Godard’s work, standards of continuity, editing, and sound-and-image sync are distorted or discarded. Flows of knowledge and experience are interrupted and memory is questioned. When Godard’s screen turns blank, we can daydream. But when the soundtrack drops out, a chill descends and the world falls through an abyss of silence.

“A truth in art is that which the opposite is also true.” — Oscar Wilde

For Godard, truth appears in fragments. When it comes to the truth, it would be arrogant to think otherwise. In The Image Book, his use of the “lie to me” conversation from Nicholas Ray’s 1954 film Johnny Guitar speaks to something we demand of cinema, something to do with hope. Film is always eluding us—”running away,” as Raymond Bellour wrote. It’s an act of abandonment by a thousand cuts, relieved only by the assurance that there is so much more to come.

The Image Book is screening twice daily at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre for the next five days. You’ll want to see it more than once.

THE IMAGE BOOK

Daily at 7:30 pm and 9:40 pm. Sunday matinee at 4 pm.

Through Thursday, February 21.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book/Le livre d’image, courtesy Kino Lorber.

VISCONTI — THE LEOPARD

The American Cinematheque begins its series Luchino Visconti—Cinematic Nobility with the epic masterpiece THE LEOPARD, an apotheosis of the director’s social and aesthetic predilections.

The film stars Burt Lancaster as a Bourbon prince in Risorgimento-era Italy hoping to forestall the end of his aristocratic way of life—under threat by Garibaldi and his redshirts—with the marriage of his nephew (Alain Delon) to a rich merchant’s daughter (Claudia Cardinale).

Based on the classic novel by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, THE LEOPARD will screen twice during the series in a DCP beautifully restored by the Cineteca di Bologna and co-presented by Luce Cinecittà.

THE LEOPARD

Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 pm.

Egyptian Theatre

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Friday, March 29, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Burt Lancaster as Prince Don Fabrizio Salina in The LeopardAlain Delon as Tancredi Falconeri and Claudia Cardinale as Angelica; Lancaster with a tailor on set; Garibaldi’s redshirts; costumes for The Leopard were designed by Piero Tosi and Umberto Tirelli; Lancaster and Cardinale in the film’s ballroom dance scene.

THE NAKED KISS

To a greater degree than any other post-war filmmaker in Hollywood, Samuel Fuller and his movies gleefully cracked the façade of the American Dream wide open to expose the venality and hypocrisy just below the surface.

In THE NAKED KISS—his mid-sixties “yarn” tracing ex-prostitute Kelly (Constance Towers) and her thwarted attempts at self-rehabilitation—Fuller’s twisted mise-en-scène matches the psychology of his characters.

Following the American Cinematheque screening this weekend at the Egyptian, Towers will join author Foster Hirsch for a conversation about the film.

THE NAKED KISS

Sunday, January 27, 6:30 pm.

A pre-film reception starts at 5:30 pm in the courtyard.

Egyptian Theatre

6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Samuel Fuller and Constance Towers on set, The Naked Kiss (1964); Towers (2) in The Naked Kiss.

WINGS OF DESIRE

“I always felt throughout the making of WINGS OF DESIRE that the city of Berlin was carrying the film, the city had sort of co-invented the story…

“Then, of course, two years later it became a whole different city… I realized I had just caught it in the nick of time, that strange, legendary island of a city that had made Berlin unique for thirty years.” — Wim Wenders

A new 4K restoration of WINGS OF DESIRE—the 1987 masterpiece written by Wenders and Peter Handke, directed by Wenders, and starring Bruno Ganz—will play this week at the Aero, presented by the American Cinematheque.

The film was a late-80s phenomenon, attended multiple times by artists, writers, students, and film buffs during its extended runs in large cities and university towns across the country.

WINGS OF DESIRE

Friday, January 25, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Bruno Ganz in Wings of DesireSolveig Dommartin; Ganz; Crime & the City Solution perform “Six Bells Chime”; Peter Falk. Images courtesy Wim Wenders Stiftung.

GODARD ENCORE AT THE AERO

A sequel of sorts to the recent American Cinematheque series For the Love of Godard arrives this weekend at the Aero.

CONTEMPT (Le Mépris) and ALPHAVILLE will screen, as well as 35mm prints of LE PETIT SOLDAT and MADE IN U.S.A.Anna Karina’s last film for Jean-Luc Godard, featuring a cameo by Marianne Faithfull.

And if you missed last year’s MOCA screening of ONE PLUS ONE—Godard’s documentary incorporating the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil” recording sessions—it will be at the Aero Sunday night.

(The Cinematheque’s exclusive run of Godard’s new film THE IMAGE BOOKLe livre d’imagecommences Friday, February 15.)

CONTEMPT and LE PETIT SOLDAT

Friday, January 18, at 7:30 pm.

ALPHAVILLE and MADE IN U.S.A.

Saturday, January 19, at 7:30

ONE PLUS ONE

Sunday, January 20, at 7:30 pm.

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

From top: Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli in Contempt (1963); Piccoli(left), Fritz Lang, Jack Palance, and Jean-Luc Godard, on the set of ContemptAnna Karina in Alphaville (1965). Image credit: Rialto Pictures.