Jean-Luc Godard has been cinema’s premiere provocateur since the 1960s making films that stimulate as well as outrage in so many ways that it is nearly impossible to itemize them. To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning “How can I unsettle you? Let me count the ways” seems to be the mantra of his life in cinema. But besides making films that turn expected reactions to contemporary movies on their head, Godard has also articulated his outlook on cinema and its process in a variety of ways. We here at Cinema Station and Running Wild Films view him as a patron saint and an inspiration. We’ve quoted him before. Here are a few more presented as food for thought.
– I make film to make time pass.
– You don’t make a movie, the movie makes you.
– My aesthetic is that of the sniper on the roof.
– There is no point in having sharp images when you have fuzzy ideas.
– What I want is above all is to destroy the idea of culture. Culture is an alibi of imperialism. There is a Ministry of War. There is a Ministry of Culture. Therefore, culture is war.
– It’s over. There was a time when cinema could have improved society. That time was missed.
– Every edit is a lie.
– In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie.
– Up to now- since shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution- most moviemakers have been assuming that they know how to make movies. Just like the bad writer doesn’t ask himself if he’s really capable of writing a novel- he thinks he knows. If moviemakers were building airplanes, there would be an accident every time one took off. But in the movies, these accidents are called Oscars.
– Robert Bresson is to French cinema what Mozart is to German music and Dostoyevsky is to Russian literature.