Jean Luc Godard Essay

2816 words - 12 pages

Jean-Luc Godard is one of the French filmmakers who worked from the end of 50s and during the 60s in the trend called as the “nouvelle vague” (new wave). He wrote film critics for the magazines such as cahiers du cinema and made 4 four short films before he made 1959 his first feature film A bout de Soufflé, which was famous first of all through its jump cut and was called the first nouvelle vague film. With this film, he became an iconoclast and artistic hero in the film history. His films are filled with many kinds of references from various art genres and cultural media, which make his films special. He used such unique and different styles in his films and therefore his films divided history of films into before-Godard and after-Godard. This is not a hyperbole. In the 1959, his movie was so different from previous films that much audience felt that his movie was not like a movie. For example, some of the characters in his films were in the scene without any reason to be there, the camera was sometimes focused at backgrounds instead of filming characters while they were acting, characters in the camera suddenly start to talk to audience outside of the screen, and even the whole color of the scene changed to yellow in a sudden. This could be even seemed as if he was not taking his filming career serious and downplaying his audience, but it was his challenge against arts with no creativity, and it was also Godard’s way to communicate with his audience. Among all of his unique filming techniques and many kinds of references from different art genres and cultural media, I would like to talk about how music and popular art played role in his film. In his films, there are certain scenes with music and popular art that shows he was illuminating the films political and sociological positions.
At first, I would like to talk about the certain music that Goddard preferred to use in his films and why. Goddard’s style of applying music in his films were unique and was similar to the styles of other nouvelle vague directors in the 1960’s which were different from that of Hollywood directors. Music is an important reference in the movie in order for that movie to become a successful and remembered by audience after the movie is over. The music of Ennio Morricone in the movie “Once Upon a Time in America” and “Cinema Paradiso” can never be forgotten by people who watched them. Even without watching the film again, people can remember the scene clearly while they listen to the music. In the beginning of 1960s, it was a golden era for music in the movie in Hollywood. According to British musicologist Stanley Sadie, music at the time was used for showing each character personality, and symphony orchestra was first placed in Hollywood movie. Later in the 1970s’ this symphony became significant in Hollywood blockbusters. (Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol 6, pp549-550) However music in the French movies was different from that...

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