“A critic once asked why there was so much blood in Pierrot. That’s not blood, answered Godard, but red. Equally, his films are not stories photographed, but a record of actors playing parts. The focus of his films is the distance between camera and actors and between screen and audience.”
- David Thomson, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (2004 Edition)
“This is not a Hollywood movie. In a Hollywood movie, after the movie is over, there’s nothing more. There is no relationship between the screen and the spectator. There’s just duration. If you don’t like it, you go to sleep, the way I do. But in other movies, you can’t forget about it. You have to talk about it afterward.”
- Jean-Luc Godard, Rolling Stone interview, June 14, 1969 (excerpted in the liner notes for Criterion's recent Bluray edition of WEEKEND)
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As much as I hate to lead with a David Thomson quote1, I think the first bit sums up everything I dislike about the motion picture exercises of Jean-Luc Godard. The second quote speaks to everything I admire about Godard (in theory) and what keeps me coming back to his films, however infuriating I find them.