At the Limit of Breath: Poems on the Films of Jean-Luc by Stephen Scobie

By Stephen Scobie

Stephen Scobie celebrates “the maximum movie director of his age” with poetry exploring forty four of Godard’s motion pictures.

Subtle but profound unities play from poem to poem. Characters, destinations, pictures, and the beneficiant use of citation jump-cut and recur to ship the mind's eye reeling throughout the greater works of either artists. Readers might be seduced to linger in the writing and inspired to hunt past, to Godard's personal oeuvre.

The ebook is sharply expected and thoroughly cadenced so one can satisfaction readers who is probably not acquainted with Godard's motion pictures. these already familiar with Godard's paintings will locate on the restrict of breath a such a lot profitable event.

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Extra info for At the Limit of Breath: Poems on the Films of Jean-Luc Godard

Sample text

Your problem is (she says) you can’t write dialogue for love scenes. He’s trying, not always successfully, not to interrupt her. The dialogue ends where contempt begins: shadow of arms on a wall, the camera turning to face the audience. The project of becoming a subject: where has it gone, oh where has it gone? It’s hard to say.

Learn. — but the sound — “those who poisoned the horses” — but the sound is as clear as a bell. And just as dogmatic. 34 The hectoring, lecturing voice has won its final victory over the stubborn, persistent ambiguity of the visual. I eject the VHS tape, slot it back in its box, file it back on its shelf, open my window, and listen for a wind from the east. 35 Lotte in Italia Struggles in Italy Dziga Vertov Group 1970 Paola stares at the camera raising her right hand in clenched-fist salute. We see her reading several newspapers, one headline at a time, or crossing lines out of a manuscript, or eating her soup.

Indifference And Buster Keaton upside down No, not that The things she will not do the limits of Pan Am capitalism Listen to her child’s dream about Vietnam People never really talk in movies I wanted to talk with you But all these signs around us make me doubt even language They submerge me in meanings drowning the real 22 Me, in a word? 45pm. Must we speak he whispers of Juliette, or of the leaves? It seems we can’t do both at once Can we? So let’s just say that the two of them together trembled softly on this late October afternoon 23 La chinoise The Chinese Woman We are the discourse of others We are quotations from a little red book We have painted the walls and the shutters red white and blue the windows too We are what we did on our summer vacation We are students and teachers We write on the blackboards We have abolished exams We try to speak pure words erasing all history — On the river — Green and blue — Tenderness — Perhaps — Literary theory — A film by Nicholas … Ray — The Moscow trials — Robin redbreast — Rock … and roll — You know I love you We must confront / vague ideas with clear / images Most people don’t realize things yet We must do their thinking for them 24 1967 If you make a mistake and kill the wrong man then just go back and kill the right one Saint-Just will appear in the time of resurrection La rentrée 25 Weekend Prisoner of the Desert calling Johnny Guitar here on the banks of the liberated rivers in the revolutionary months Pluviôse Thermidor here at the end of story end of cinema with all our automobiles burning with all our faces painted blood the ordinary carnage of the roads the lethal plots that sometimes fail the sports car wrecked and the Hermès scarf Saint-Just in the open fields singing into a telephone My African brother speaks for me ACTION MUSICALE the circle that completes what it cannot express and reverses itself What a rotten film All we meet are crazy people eating each other 26 1967 end of story end of cinema Johnny Guitar calling Prisoner of the Desert I salute you old Ocean 27 Le Gai savoir Joyful Wisdom; The Gay Science 1968–69 Gay, that is, in the old sense: merry, joyful.

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