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January 30 - February 27, 2006

5 X JLG


January 30 (Monday) 7 pm

Breathless (À Bout de Souffle)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 1959, b/w, 89 min.
With Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo
French with English subtitles

One of the most important films to emerge from the French New Wave, Breathless is set in the fifties, when the influence of American culture in France was being felt at every level of life. Godard presents a story of boy-meets-girl animated by myths of innocence abroad and of the alienated gangster of B-movies. Belmondo's interpretation of an anarchic criminal- confused, bitter, and cynical-was his first major role and launched his career. Godard conceived of Jean Seberg's character as a direct continuation of the pampered but worldly creature she played in Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse. Describing the impact of the film after forty years, critic Phillip Lopate summarizes: "It seemed a new kind of storytelling, with its saucy jump cuts, digressions, quotes, in jokes and addresses to the viewer. And yet, underneath all these brash interventions was a Mozartean melancholy that strongly suggested classical measure."

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February 6 (Monday) 7pm

My Life to Live (Vivre sa vie)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 1962, b/w, 85 min.
With Anna Karina, Sady Rebbot, André Labarth
French with English subtitles

Using interview techniques, direct sound, long takes, texts, quotations, and statistics, Godard creates a documentary tone for this film about Nana S. (Karina), a girl from the provinces who can't pay her rent and is initiated into prostitution in Paris. Godard's film is a probing and dazzling examination of prostitution but, above all, a passionate celluloid love letter to Karina, then the director's wife. His close-ups of her face bring to mind the incomparable faces of another era: Louise Brooks, Lillian Gish, and Falconetti.

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February 13 (Monday) 7pm

Masculin feminin

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 1966, b/w, 103 min.
With Jean Pierre-Leaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert
French with English subtitles

A series of observations on Godard's "children of Marx and Coca-Cola" and their relationships, Masculin-feminin is set in Paris and stars Jean-Pierre Leaud as a young journalist interviewing and romancing a beautiful singer (Goya). Godard enlivens the classic "battle of the sexes" plotline with inventive doses of parody, satire, politics, anarchy, and comedy while at the same time raising serious questions about why men and women act the way that they do.

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February 20 (Monday) 7pm

Moments Choisis Des Histoire(s) Du Cinema

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 2004, b/w and color, 84 min.
French with English subtitles

This reedited version of Godard's five-hour epic film essay, Histoire(s) Du Cinema condenses the work into eight puzzling yet fascinating chapters. A stunning collage of music, poetry, and, of course, film, Moments Choisis demonstrates that Godard's critical faculty is on par with his creative ability. The film was featured in the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, which described the work as "a ruminative and exhilarating elegy to cinema and the twentieth century."

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February 27 (Monday) 7pm

Hail Mary

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 1985, color, 103 min.
With Myriem Roussel, Thierry Rode, Philippe Lacoste
French with English subtitles

Jean-Luc Godard's startling modernization of the Annunciation and Nativity stories-with the Virgin as the basketball-playing daughter of a gas station manager and Joseph as her jealous, taxi-driving boyfriend-is one of the most controversial films in the history of cinema..

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700