Archive for March, 2010

Visual Contemporaries: Woody Allen & Jean-Luc Godard II

March 5, 2010

In 1986, Godard interviewed Woody Allen. The editing makes the film hard to watch, as most of Godard’s films are after 1970.

In this segment, Godard smokes a cigar through the entire interview. The two great directors contrast their cinematic styles: Godard uses titles for cinematic purposes and Allen uses his titles as a literary device. Though, this is not always true, as Allen used sub-textual subtitles for a cinematic effect in Annie Hall. Either way, the fact that Allen brought up that fact shows that he is knowledgeable of Godard’s films. Godard intercuts his documentary with these titles accompanied with music before Allen’s answers. At one point, Godard pokes fun at Stanislavsky, the first teacher of method acting, “STALIN LOVES SKI”,  Allen also seems to be looking at the translator mostly rather than making eye contact with Godard.

At 2:40, Godard comically edits the footage of Woody Allen to make him look very comical. I could not help but to laugh at the frames that he chose to freeze on.

Immediately following, Godard smokes a cigar and sits on the floor, slamming video cassettes on a table. He looks angry as he opens a book with Woody Allen on the cover.

Godard always cuts off Allen through editing before Allen can make a point, to make Allen look less bright. Godard only lets Allen speak when he talks about his vulnerabilities and the desperation behind his wonderful creations.

Godard ends the session with a shot of himself gathering together pictures of Woody Allen and then closing the Woody Allen books with a slam. His editing makes it look like he does not respect Allen much. However,  not only is Godard knowledgeable of Allen’s films but also praises his choices in Hannah and Her Sisters.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this interview, but I’m glad it happened and I wonder how Woody Allen felt about his portrayal in it.