MARCH/APRIL 2009

JLG IN USA

INFORMATION ABOUT THE DVD AFFIXED TO PAGE 1 OF THIS ISSUE

edited by Jacob Perlin

1. Two American Audiences (Mark Woodcock, 1968, 40 min., 16mm): Announcing itself as “a typical Pennebaker production of a typical Godard visit,” JLG speaks with grad students and Serge Losique at NYU in April 1968. Pennebaker: “When Jean-Luc Godard came to New York to make a film [1 A.M./1 P.M.] with me and Ricky Leacock, he was anxious to see America before the revolution broke out, torn up as it was with the Vietnam furor. Godard’s most recent film, La Chinoise, was playing, and Columbia University students, who had initiated their student uprising on the day the film opened, were pouring into the theater. This to our unexpected delight, for when Godard had arranged for us to distribute the film, we had done so with misgiving since his films were not normally known to fill theaters. So as we laughed at his sly remarks, it occurred to us that there were two audiences involved here, and maybe that our film should be about that. It might also be noted that the date of the filming, April 4, 1968, was the day Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Of course, none of us in the room knew about that then.”

2. Godard in America (Ralph Thanhauser, 1970, 50 min., 16mm): Spring 1970: Godard and Gorin, on the road, visiting colleges, speaking with Andrew Sarris, and explaining, through illustrated notebooks, their newest Dziga Vertov Group project, a film on Palestine.

3. A Weekend at the Beach with Jean-Luc Godard (Ira Schneider, 1979, 8 min., video): Casual video footage from Del Mar Beach, San Diego, of Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Tom Luddy, Alice Waters, Wim Wenders, and Heiner Müller, swimming, eating, and smoking, with Schneider’s wonderfully droll narration. With a newly recorded audio introduction by Schneider.

4. The Dick Cavett Show. On the occasion of the release of Godard’s newest film, Sauve qui peut (la vie), two thirty-minute episodes of The Dick Cavett Show were filmed. Funny and introspective, the names—Lewis, Coppola, Schroeder, Scorsese, Hawks, Preminger, Bukowski—and profundities hurtle past at an astonishing clip.

5. Godard in Oakland. A slideshow of Jeffrey Blankfort’s photographs of Godard’s visit to the Bay Area at the time of Huey Newton’s trial in Oakland. (All photos copyright Jeffrey Blankfort.)

Jacob Perlin is a film programmer at BAMCinematek in Brooklyn, New York and founder of the Film Desk.

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