Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 3/1

Jean-Luc Godard interviewed by Jonathan Rosenbaum in 1980:

JR: Do you foresee making films with stories in order to make other films without stories?

JLG: I’m trying to mix the two together — to work for government, universities, or doctors. If it’s something done for the Mzambique government, maybe it can interest some UNESCO people or some other country – but obviously not Loews Theater. That was my problem: It took me almost 20 years to realize that films like Ici et ailleurs and Comment ça va shouldn’t be done for theaters but just for study, or for a certain category of people. And then it’s difficult, because sometimes these categories can’t afford the money. If you go the usual route, even the art-house route, you should have a proper way of doing it. If not, the resistance will be too strong. They’ll say, “This is not a movie.” Like the people in French TV who say, “This is not TV.” They don’t say it’s bad or worthless. The only censorship is aesthetic: “This is not the way a movie should be done.”

I live on the border. We’re Swiss people, we have a French company, and we want to keep it that way and live on the border. Our only enemies are the customs people, whether these are bankers or critics….People think of their bodies as territories. They think of their skin as the border, and that it’s no longer them once it’s outside the border. But a language is obviously made to cross borders. I’m someone whose real country is language, and whose territory is movies.

JR: There’s been a strong sense of your absence as a critic.

JLG: I want to go on with that, but with movies, not with pen and paper. Try to be a critic, not a regular reviewer. Sometimes I prefer teachers who do occasional pieces. It’s not possible to be a critic once a week.

JR: I find it impossible.

JLG: It is impossible. Even if you’re a genius, you can’t do it.


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