Monday, May 24, 2010

Weerasethakul and an interview with JLG

So glad Uncle Boonmee won the Palme d'Or.


A general interview.

An older one from Reverse Shot.

And some links.


Oh, and a fantastic interview with JLG here:

LALANNE: You don't claim any rights over the images that any artists might be lifting from your films?

GODARD: Of course not. Besides, people are doing it, putting them up on the Internet, and for the most part they don't look very good... But I don't have the feeling that they're taking something away from me. I don't have the Internet. Anne-Marie [Miéville, his partner, and a filmmaker —JML] uses it. But in my film, there are images that come from the Internet, like those images of the two cats together.

LALANNE: For you, there's no difference in status between those anonymous images of cats that circulate on the Internet, and the shot from John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn that you're also making use of in Film Socialisme?

GODARD: Statutorily, I don't see why I'd be differentiating between the two. If I had to plead in a court of law against charges of filching images for my films, I'd hire two lawyers, with two different systems. The one would defend the right of quotation, which barely exists for the cinema. In literature, you can quote extensively. In the Miller [Genius and Lust: A Journey Through the Major Writings of Henry Miller, 1976 —JML] by Norman Mailer, there's 80% Henry Miller, and 20% Norman Mailer. In the sciences, no scientist pays a fee to use a formula established by a conference. That's quotation, and cinema doesn't allow it. I read Marie Darrieussecq's book, Rapport de police [Rapport de police, accusations de plagiat et autres modes de surveillance de la fiction / Police Report: Accusations of Plagiarism and Other Modes of Surveillance in Fiction, 2010], and I thought it was very good, because she went into a historical inquiry of this issue. The right of the author — it's really not possible. An author has no right. I have no right. I have only duties. And then in my film, there's another type of "loan" — not quotations, but just excerpts. Like a shot, when a blood-sample gets taken for analysis. That would be the defense of my second lawyer. He'd defend, for example, my use of the shots of the trapeze artists that come from Les Plages d'Agnès. This shot isn't a quotation — I'm not quoting Agnès Varda's film: I'm benefiting from her work. I'm taking an excerpt, which I'm incorporating somewhere else, where it takes on another meaning: in this case, symbolizing peace between Israel and Palestine. I didn't pay for that shot. But if Agnès asked me for money, I figure it would be for a reasonable price. Which is to say, a price in proportion with the economy of the film, the number of spectators that it reaches...


LALANNE: Is the idea of accomplishing a body of work, one which life granted you the time to complete, a matter that weighs upon you?

GODARD: No. I don't believe in the body of work. There are works, they might be produced in individual installments, but the body of work as a collection, the great oeuvre, I have no interest in it. I prefer to speak in terms of pathways. Along my course, there are highs and there are lows, there are attempts... I've towed the line a lot. You know, the most difficult thing is to tell a friend that what he's done isn't very good. I can't do it. Rohmer was brave enough to tell me at the time of the Cahiers that my critique of Strangers on a Train was bad. Rivette could say it too. And we paid a lot of attention to what Rivette thought. As for François Truffaut, he didn't forgive me for thinking his films were worthless. He also suffered from not ending up finding my films as worthless as I thought his own were.


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dipali said...

I loved the Godard interview!
Have to check out the rest.