Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When Jean-Luc Godard Cannes treated with contempt – Gala

Since 1960, it is a little “I love you, me neither” between Jean-Luc Godard and the Cannes Film Festival. “There is no happy love?” Not sure. The proof.

“If you’re not going to Cannes, Cannes will come to you.” The complex relationship between the Festival and the last survivor of the New Wave is rich with a new episode since yesterday, since the official poster of the 69th edition borrows a sublime image at Contempt (1963). For the record, “a film with a smooth aesthetic intensity,” according to his commentator Alain Bergala.

This is an amazing shot. It radiates yellow light and shows Michel Piccoli, back, hat, hoisted himself atop vertiginous stairs, leading him to the solarium of the villa suspended between the sky and the Mediterranean where part of the action takes place Contempt , even if the word action is probably a bit strong here. The plot, say.

In any case, this is a particularly graphic tribute, aesthetic, but went to a filmmaker who happens today cares tributes : in 2014, despite the selection of the movie Goodbye to language , we remember that Jean-Luc Godard had declined the invitation of Thierry Fremaux. Geneva is yet only an hour’s flight from Cannes. Even the award of the Jury was of no effect. “In a filmed letter to the Festival, Godard, 84, had thanked his leadership, but justified his absence by a” you know, I am no longer – and long -. Distribution “

If the Festival loves Helvète underground forever, the converse is not true. Jean-Luc Godard remains, at best, mixed unfailingly vis-à-vis Cannes, as when he said ironically: “With the Festival, I will go to death, but I will not do one more . “

The origin of this misunderstanding (well, it’s funny this is one of the main themes of Contempt) in 1959. François Truffaut knows that year his first selection for The four hundred shots . And colleague of Cahiers du Cinéma takes umbrage as John Douchet: “It’s disgusting, everyone is in Cannes. What am I doing in Paris? I absolutely need money to get off the Festival. Truffaut is a bastard, he would think of me. “

He finally afford the trip. And it is on the Croisette he will sign “on a table corner,” says the legend, in the presence of the same as Truffaut and Claude Chabrol, the contract that will allow him to start shooting At the end of breath . The following year, the film launched his career, but without the benefit of a selection. In 1962, Godard, bitter, always, decreed in a paper commissioned by Express : “Cannes is the end: too many movies, too serious, too little starlets. It is the village festival. “

Eventually, things will calm down. The filmmaker will be many times selected by the French mostra but causing each time the controversy with Johnny Hallyday ( Detective , 1985) with Alain Delon (N ew wave , 1990). At the margin, it will also agaceur annoyed, the biter, as the year when the entarté Noël Godin, with cameras to witness.

Today, by “inviting” a once again Jean-Luc Godard in his annual appointment, Cannes definitely seal unwavering admiration for the director; and unwittingly enriched the theme of Contempt , since there is a question of lack of communication. “My film is the story of a misunderstanding between a man and a woman. There are moments in life where you can not go back and when something finally breaks, that is not the fault of one or the fault of the other, each experiencing the suffering, bitterness, or regret. “

Provided that finally gives us the opportunity to see this classic Godardian, shot in Cinemascope, lit by Raoul Coutard and set to music (and what nice way) by Georges Delerue. Contempt is the film JLG who more than any other deserves “looks up at the screen.” “It’s a simple film without mystery, which proves that in film as in life, there is nothing secret, nothing to clarify, we have only to live and to film.”


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