Thursday, November 3, 2011

An imperfect spontaneity

I have been thinking a lot about Godard emphasis on the spontaneous and the unscripted elements in his film.  While it is obvious in films like Weekend there must be some scripted elements and planned shots, Godard also declines to fully commit to the typical pre production style that has become standard for so many filmmakers. In the article "Struggle on Two Fronts: A Conversation with Jean-Luc Godard" Godard states, “It is only in shooting that you find out what you have to shoot” (Bontemps 25). Godard’s approach seems to be more about finding the story through arrangement than editing towards a preconceived vision

For Godard, the creator has to be “open” to the spontaneity of life; it is the lack of perfection that creates dynamic films. Yet in a struggle on two fronts he drafts a wish list of sorts. Things that he claims would aide the filmmaker in his production. One of his main complains centers on the editing table and how it doesn’t seem to be suited for editing at all. “they are manufactured by men who’ve never done any editing,” (Bontemps 28) and therefore aren’t imbued with the right kind of usefulness to the film editor.

Godard laments that these editing tables are symptomatic of reactionary ideology, and that “If you're trying to make revolutionary movies on a reactionary editing-table, you're going to run into trouble,” (Bontemps 28) .I disagree.  Rather run into trouble I believe that where the reactionary and the revolutionary meet is where the spontaneity that Godard advocates.  I believe that this tension is exactly what Godard needs, the challenges presented by the corporate capitalist structure provide opportunities not only to subvert the system in interesting and creative was but to be challenged to be industrious, to be a problem solver. This is the spontaneity that Godard talks about. The lack of perfection in created by capitalist society offers the artist the problems that become the catalysts for revolutionary art. It is only by having boundaries that limit the artist that allow him to break free through artistic innovation.


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