The director of The Artist turns in a shallow portrait of a film icon with Godard Mon Amour

In the film canon, few figures enjoy a more divided reputation than the innovative Franco-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, an artist of discontinuities, contradictions, and quotations who has spent his nearly 60-year career in a one-sided dialogue with the rest of cinema. His accessible early films—a run that spans…

Arthouse icon Agnès Varda takes a wise and whimsical road trip in Faces Places

Driving a box truck disguised as a giant camera, Agnès Varda and Jean “JR” René tour the French countryside in Faces Places, visiting farms, coal towns, factories, tiny cemeteries, and a toppled German bunker that sits like a Brutalist monument on a Norman beach. The odd couple pairing is almost too cute: the arthouse…

My Journey Through French Cinema is a fond examination of movie minutiae

“At the Pathé Journal, I saw a guy next to me open a can of peas, heat it up, and eat it,” recalls Bertrand Tavernier with a survivor’s perverse pride as he describes the widely mythologized Paris movie houses of the 1950s in My Journey Through French Cinema, his smart and gregarious personal tour through the first…

Cannes closes with its best movie, and we close our coverage with our favorites

Sunday is the final day of Cannes, but for yours truly, the festival ends in a couple hours, with a flight from Nice to New York. It’s been a great time: a blur of movies, hastily consumed lunches, leisurely consumed late-night dinners, long and scenic walks into town (and back), feverish debates while standing in…

One of the world’s rarest films just showed up on YouTube

Une Femme Coquette may not sound like anything special—a 9-minute no-budget short film, shot on a borrowed 16mm camera by a 24-year-old amateur with no formal film school training. But the short, which was the subject of our article “Neither lost nor found: On the trail of an elusive icon’s rarest film” back in 2014,…

Jean-Luc Godard’s perennially cool Band Of Outsiders returns to theaters

Thinly plotted, indifferently paced, often distracted, filmed against white walls or through drizzle on drab sidewalks, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 film Band Of Outsiders is a movie held together by attitude; its title has long since become a byword for all things timelessly and effortlessly hip and offbeat. Perhaps its…

The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius is making a movie about Jean Luc-Godard

If Godard didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him. The gnomic Franco-Swiss filmmaker, who shot to worldwide acclaim in the early 1960s, was a seminal figure in the development of the medium, singlehandedly changing what movies and the people who made them were supposed to be like. He is one of the standout…

Celebrate Jean-Luc Godard’s 85th birthday with an homage supercut

As any person who has taken introduction to film studies will tell you, French New Wave directory Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. But what does that actually mean? Isn’t that just some film nerd talk? Does Jean-Luc Godard actually still have an influence in the movies we’re…

Jean-Luc Godard re-booted his career with Every Man For Himself

At times, and especially early on, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1980 comeback feature Every Man For Himself plays like the filmmaker’s answer to one of those discursive, taking-stock-of-the-self novels usually associated with conspicuously middle-aged artists on the Roth-Updike spectrum. There’s an author stand-in, the kind who…

National Society Of Film Critics picks Goodbye To Language as best film of 2014

Founded in the mid-1960s as an alternative to the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society Of Film Critics has long been one of this country’s most cosmopolitan, dependable, and unglamorous awards-giving bodies. While other critics’ organizations function as awards season bellweathers, the credibility of the…

Neither lost nor found: On the trail of an elusive icon’s rarest film

Screening rats and bootleg-swappers always have a holy grail. It sits at the top of a list of titles, on a folded sheet of notebook paper or in a Word document, bolded, underlined, or marked with a little squiggly star. The list can start as a practical, to-do-type aid, but, after a few years, it becomes a formality,…