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Everything Is Cinema

by Richard Brody
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publishing date: 23/06/2009
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780805080155
  • ISBN: 0805080155

Synopsis

A “serious-minded and meticulously detailed . . . account of the lifelong artistic journey” of one of the most influential filmmakers of our age (The New York Times)

When Jean-Luc Godard wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Unlike any earlier films, Godard’s work shifts fluidly from fiction to documentary, from criticism to art. The man himself also projects shifting images—cultural hero, fierce loner, shrewd businessman. Hailed by filmmakers as a—if not the—key influence on cinema, Godard has entered the modern canon, a figure as mysterious as he is indispensable.

In Everything Is Cinema, critic Richard Brody has amassed hundreds of interviews to demystify the elusive director and his work. Paying as much attention to Godard’s technical inventions as to the political forces of the postwar world, Brody traces an arc from the director’s early critical writing, through his popular success with Breathless, to the grand vision of his later years. He vividly depicts Godard’s wealthy conservative family, his fluid politics, and his tumultuous dealings with women and fellow New Wave filmmakers.

Everything Is Cinema confirms Godard’s greatness and shows decisively that his films have left their mark on screens everywhere.

Richard Brody, a film critic and editor at The New Yorker, is also an independent filmmaker who lives in New York City. Everything Is Cinema is his first book.
When Jean-Luc Godard wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Unlike any earlier films, Godard’s work shifts fluidly from fiction to documentary, from criticism to art. Godard himself also projects shifting images—cultural hero, fierce loner, shrewd businessman. Hailed by filmmakers as a—if not the—key influence on cinema, Godard has entered the modern canon, a figure as mysterious as he is indispensable.

In Everything Is Cinema, critic Richard Brody has amassed hundreds of interviews to demystify the elusive director and his work. Paying as much attention to Godard’s technical inventions as to the political forces of the postwar world, Brody traces an arc from the director’s early critical writing, through his popular success with Breathless, to the grander vision of his later years. Brody vividly depicts Godard’s wealthy conservative family, his fluid politics, and his tumultuous experiences with women and fellow New Wave filmmakers.

Everything Is Cinema shows decisively the lasting mark that Godard has left on cinema.
"Richard Brody’s Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard is a story of transformation, a painstaking account of a lifelong artistic journey . . . [A] meticulously detailed book . . . Everything Is Cinema works its way methodically through Godard’s career, beginning with his days as a young cinephile in the early 1950s, writing for Parisian film journals like La Gazette du Cinéma and, later, the newly founded Cahiers du Cinéma. Brody explains that Godard’s entree into the French film industry, via writing criticism, was 'revolutionary and didactic': Godard and his contemporaries—among them future filmmakers of the nouvelle vague including François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Maurice Schérer (better known to filmgoers as Eric Rohmer)—educated themselves by making pilgrimages to screenings at the Cinémathèque and the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where they might see three or four films a day."—Stephanie Zacharek, The New York Times 
"An honest, intelligent, and often eloquent treatment of a major motion picture artist . . . a roller coaster of exciting ideas. Like a Godard film, the journey [is] worth it."—Jeanine Basinger, The New York Times

"Richard Brody’s Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard is a story of transformation, a painstaking account of a lifelong artistic journey . . . [A] meticulously detailed book . . . Everything Is Cinema works its way methodically through Godard’s career, beginning with his days as a young cinephile in the early 1950s, writing for Parisian film journals like La Gazette du Cinéma and, later, the newly founded Cahiers du Cinéma. Brody explains that Godard’s entree into the French film industry, via writing criticism, was 'revolutionary and didactic': Godard and his contemporaries—among them future filmmakers of the nouvelle vague including François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and Maurice Schérer (better known to filmgoers as Eric Rohmer)—educated themselves by making pilgrimages to screenings at the Cinémathèque and the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where they might see three or four films a day."—Stephanie Zacharek, The New York Times 

"Admirable . . . Exactly the sort of scrupulous and passionate work significant movie figures deserve and almost never receive."—Richard Schickel, Los Angeles Times

"The increasing availability of the works of Jean-Luc Godard on DVD makes this the perfect moment for Richard Brody's massive, ambitious new biography of the French Nouvelle Vague pioneer . . . Brody seamlessly integrates the oft-told story—the transformation of Godard and his fellow Cahiers du Cinéma critics into auteurs of the most glorious national cinema of the postwar period—with reams of new material he has gathered over seven years of research. He seems to have missed no one, interviewing Godard himself, all three of his wives including his frequent star Anna Karina, his Maoist collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin, and literally dozens of people who were in the room or on the set at important moments in Godard's life. He is attentive to the ideological hair-splitting and political extremism of the Gorin years—a mad, molten period largely lost to legend until now. To his credit, Brody doesn't glide over Godard's occasional anti-Semitic remarks or his problems with women (Karina maintains that being slapped in public by him simply constituted proof of his love), or the deterioration of his relationship with François Truffaut. However, geniuses all have their flaws, and Brody goes to great length to contextualize these without excusing them, the better to unmask and explain this famously inscrutable artist and his work. All in all, Brody has given us the most satisfying—and epic—movie biography of the year so far."—DGA Quarterly

"Perhaps the most impressive thing about Brody's Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard is that it's 700 large-format pages long, yet winds up seeming too short—a tribute to both the author and his 77-year-old subject . . . Brody's main strength, apart from the fact that he's never boring, is his ease in clarifying the intricacies of French politics and philosophy as they interact with Godard's evolution. Sometimes these two specialties even come together, bristling with Godardian paradox: 'Breathless was both a work of existential engagement with the world—an engagement that was constant, essential, and involuntary, inasmuch as it was a collage of preexisting material—and therefore also a work of Sartrean bad faith, made by a thinker who did not think but wa

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  • must have on godard
    From Amazon

    if you love godard, you must have this book,by THE NEW YORKER film reviewer, richard brody.he offers an insightful biography of godard, and his influences, the reviews are in chronological order, and are MUST READS, after watching the dvds. his treatment of BREATHLESS is packed with information and astute observations. it is absolutely amazing that BREATHLESS was godard's first film. keep this book by your dvd player!

  • Comprehensive review of Godard's work
    From Amazon

    This book is extensive and really focuses on Godard's intellectual process, how he has viewed film as art, and how he differed from the other French New Wave auteurs. The author also examines how Godard's personal life, especially with Anna Karina, intertwined with his work. The chapters are chronologically divided by film, which made it easy to watch each corresponding movie as I read the chapters. Not many comprehensive, well-researched books on the French New Wave era of film making exist, so this one is really welcome. Highly recommended biography.

  • A reverse-shot: biographical reductivism and a rhetoric of defamation
    From Amazon

    Source: http://www.cinema-scope.com/cs38/feat_krohn_brody.html i would have preferred this post to be titled "Kinbrody and the Ceejays", similar to its source, but the said would do. The form as much as the content matters, as all JLG fans know. "Sliced and diced like a package of subprime mortgages," Brody's feat fails on both counts.

  • Thorough and Detailed
    From Amazon

    An excellent overview of the life and work of Godard. Although some may quibble at elements of Brody's approach, it would be impossible to write a book on Godard that pleases everyone. Brody's work is an interesting companion to Colin MacCabe's biography, published a few years back. Read both, watch the films and Godard will mean what he means as you stare out from within your human skull. Dark Windows

  • Everything Is Cinema:The Working Life Of JLG - Richard Brody
    From Amazon

    Excellent portrait of JLG & the complexities & foibles of a person driven to question the very form of filmaking. Thoroughly engrossing read, written in an easy flowing style without the inflections of worship or prejudice. A primary source for the understanding of a demanding intellect & a fascinating insight to private life/public art manifestation. Thoroughly recomended.

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