Thursday, February 18, 2010

Godard on the Death of Rohmer

I woke up this morning to find an email from Andy Rector, via Samuel Bréan who wrote: "In this week's issue of Les Inrockuptibles (742, 17/2/2010), Jean-Marc Lalanne describes the recent evening that the Cinémathèque Française dedicated to Eric Rohmer, with onstage tributes by collaborators, a screening of Le genou de Claire, etc."

The article ends with the following (my translation appears below the French version) —


Mais le choc de la soirée vint de la découverte d'un petit film signé Jean-Luc Godard réalisé pour l'occasion. Sur un écran noir se succèdent les titres des plus célèbres articles de Rohmer dans les Cahiers. En voix off, Godard évoque des images sorties des limbes : deux jeunes amis, parlant ensemble dans la nuit ; les mêmes dans la cuisine de la mère de l'un, leur préparant à manger, débattant encore de films... Rarement on avait entendu Godard parler de choses si personnelles, très simples et très nues. Le film se clôt sur un plan furtif du cinéaste, un peu hagard face à sa webcam. Déjà il a disparu. On aimerait le retenir. On aimerait les retenir tous les deux.


But the shock of the evening came with the discovery of a small film by Jean-Luc Godard created for the occasion. Over a black screen, the titles of Rohmer's most famous articles from the Cahiers appear one after another. In voice-over, Godard evokes images pulled from the ether: two young friends, speaking to one another through the night; the same pair in the kitchen of one of their mothers, making food, going back and forth discussing films... Rarely have we heard Godard speak of such personal things, very simple and very exposed. The film closes with a furtive shot of the filmmaker, face slightly haggard in his webcam. With that, he's gone. You want to hold onto him. You want to hold onto both of them.


A piece I wrote about Rohmer on the day his death was announced appears here.

Tributes by Louis Skorecki and Michel Mourlet appear here.



  1. I would like to comment on the blog in general.

    A fantastic contribution. thanks.


  2. Hi !

    You can watch the Godard movie on the Cinémathèque française website :

    Cheers !


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