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Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard Hardcover – 19 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (19 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571212255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571212255
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 5.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Richard Brody's biography of Godard--arguably the most important, enigmatic, and exciting filmmaker of the second half of the 20th century--effortlessly weaves intellectual history, a personal saga, and an authoritative reading of the films themselves into a seamless web. It virtually crackles with intelligence, and is a must read for anyone interested in cinema."--Peter Biskind, author of "Gods and Monsters: Thirty Years of Writing on Film and Culture""Full of lucid analysis and human context, Richard Brody's book performs a heroic act in rescuing Godard and his growing shelf of works from the prison of myth and theory, from the cult of youth and the cult of the '60s, restoring him to his place as an engaged, hard-working artist."--Jonathan Lethem, author of "The Fortress of Solitude""Godard changed the movies as much as the American masters he grew up on: Welles, Hawks, Hitchcock, and the rest. He is as original as Picasso--but unlike Picasso, he has been denied the bio

Book Description

Richard Brody's Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard is a landmark biography of one of the great controversial geniuses of world cinema.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 1 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
Two rival Godard biographies, by Colin MacCabe & Richard Brody, came out in quick succession. I read MacCabe's awhile back but only just got around to Brody's.

Brody is a critic for the New Yorker and so, as might be expected, writes well: jargon-free, clear and accessible. The book is also well researched. But beware - beneath the cool dispassionate surface this is actually a disingenuous hatchet job. Brody foregrounds Godard's private life, stressing his infamously eccentric and often atrocious behaviour, seeing him as a conservative misogynist and reading the films from Godard's heyday with Anna Karina (and her successors) as attempts to "punish" her and teach her the "truth" - that she should give up her infidelities and dreams of stardom and submit to Godard's control freakery. Thus a film like Vivre sa vie is little more than an exercise in sadistic domestic abuse and the heroine's death an acting out of Godard's wish fulfilment - his desire to murder his wife!

This sets the tone for the whole book - Brody marshals the evidence for his character assassination of JLG well, but in a one sided way. And so when it comes to politics in general, Brody sees Godard as basically a right wing neo-fascist, the only mitigating factor being that the rest of the Cahiers group, and indeed much of the Parisian intelligentsia, was even worse. At which point it is evident that this book is a belated by-product of the "culture war" between New York and Paris from a decade ago, in which a section of the New York intelligentsia accused virtually the whole Parisian 1968 generation of being neo-fascists or charlatans (or both).
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By P. Hazel on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book, beautifully written and exhaustively researched. It manages to convey a sense of depth and integrity whilst being smoothly readable.

Each chapter deals with a particular film or period in Godard's life and it is therefore an easily accessible and erudite companion to the films.

Brody keeps his personal opinions on the films in the background. Where he does opine, his views don't necessarily chime with my own but that's fine. Make up your own minds...

If you're coming to Godard's films for the first time and want a guide I would wholeheartedly recommend this marvelous book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil on 28 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
An excellent overview of the life and work of Godard. Although some may quibble at elements of Brody's approach, it would be impossible to write a book on Godard that pleases everyone. Brody's work is an interesting companion to Colin MacCabe's biography, published a few years back. Read both, watch the films and Godard will mean what he means as you stare out from within your human skull.

Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at Seventy
Dark Windows or the Death of Godard
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