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FREN4302 - Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du Cinéma

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Roland-François Lack
Teaching structure: This module is taught in the Autumn Term.
Assessment: two 3000-word assessed essays (100%).

Module Description:

This module has only one set work, but it is a highly complex and enigmatic work,
requiring repeated viewing and detailed analysis. Godard’s eight-part video-project
lasts four hours and 24 minutes, and tells several stories about the history of cinema, stories that incorporate citations from more than 500 different films and more than 100 different authors. The study of this work does not require a deep knowledge of film history (Godard supplies that for us), but it does demand an interest in and sensitivity to the questions that, for Godard, cinema asks: questions about history, narrative, beauty, death, meaning, power ... and, of course, questions about cinema.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

Primary viewing

  • Jean-Luc Godard, Histoire(s) du cinéma (France, Gaumont, 1998).

Students should AS SOON AS POSSIBLE purchase a copy of the dvd-set issued by Artificial Eye in the UK, or the set issued by Gaumont in France. Check Amazon UK or Amazon France for price (normally £30).

Secondary reading

  • Jean-Luc Godard: Histoire(s) du cinéma (Paris, Gallimard, 1998). This four-volume publication includes the text of Histoire(s) du cinéma and more than 1000 photograms taken from it.
  • M. Temple, J.S. Wiliams, M. Witt (eds), For Ever Godard (London, Black Dog, 2004).

A full bibliography of criticism on Histoire(s) du cinéma will be provided.