Thursday, April 02, 2009

"Kinbrody and the Ceejays"

The highlight of the latest issue of Cinema Scope magazine is without a doubt Bill Krohn's nearly 8,000-word takedown of Richard Brody's meretricious Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard. Krohn's piece stands on its own as a biographical-historical work of amazing breadth, even as it figures as the most clear-sighted and methodical critical analysis of Brody's demented book that I've read to date. This important essay — which, I might add, doubles as an evisceration of the current vogue for the dip-your-toes-in-the-water-and-swish approach to arts writing — is now available online and in full at the Cinema Scope website: here.

It's worth noting that although Brody has now ascended, with the circumstance of his book's publication, to the rank of THE anglophone go-to guy for words concerning Jean-Luc Godard in particular and French cinema in general, he has no involvement whatsoever with the 80-page book that accompanies the forthcoming Masters of Cinema Series release of Godard's Une femme mariée. Simply put, the volume's present-day contributions from Krohn, and Luc Moullet, set a welcome new standard for discussion of the everything that is Godard's cinema.



  1. Thanks for linking to that article, Mr. Keller; it was most illuminating and it was nice to see that slanderous book rebuked (for that matter and for the same reason I also enjoyed your blog-post about Brody's book from some months back).

    My secret shame as a cinephile is that I've never been a big Godard fan, but no subject deserves the treatment that Brody gave him.

    Out of curiousity, how would you rate McCabe's book? Is it worth reading?

  2. I'd give it a 4 out of 10. McCabe "reads" Godard like the filmic matrix of his favorite po-mo theorists — and writes him the same way all the English film critics do: bookish-pragmatically.

    Godard despises him.

  3. Really a well-deserved ax-execution by Krohn of a book too full of ill-will to be received with innocent praise in many quarters. A pity Mr. Krohn had to expend so much time and energy on that, instead of more interesting subjects, but we must be grateful to him for liberatind the rest from that chore.
    Miguel Marías

  4. i read that book last year and i don´t remember it very well , but the worse parts were the ridicously simplistic biographical "reading" of the films ( sort of old-fashioned "tormented" genious bullshit)
    Now there were some parts when Godard was presented in a less than flattering light (hardly news)but maybe i am too distracted a reader to perceive any kind of deliberate ill will, aside from the stupid "anti-semite" speculations and some "gossipy" parts. Ok, we could agree that is a weak book, but i can't help but perceive a bit of a sanctimonious tone in Khron's article. I don´t know why Godard generates this kind of overwrought reactions and in other cases, just plain bad writing. Maybe there`s something of a personality cult going on for people who should know better. And part of that, is the presupposition that one should write about Godard in a certain way, never going outside a certain theoretical field, always staying "on message",god forbid we find ourselves incapable of doing justice to the works of the Master. McCabe's books suffers from that too ( but i'd give it 5/10),and maybe is because of the sterility of a certain way to approach films more than anything.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.