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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Origins and The End, 4 Nov 2008
This review is from: Jean-Luc Godard - Four Short Films (and Hardback Book) [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
"You have to understand that the mass of people always play someone else's game... never their own"

L'Origine du XXIème Siècle (Origins of the 21st Century) is a fifteen-minute film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The short was commissioned for the opening of the 2000 Cannes Film Festival as a reflection of or tribute to the centenary of cinema. Although the film is short, its dense montage of sound and image is an excellent way in to the more recent work of Godard.

To require an informed, cine-literate response to such a work belies its power and undermines its affect. It may be that Godard's Histoire(s) du Cinéma is an encyclopedic, historic text that does demand multiple viewings and require a degree of knowledge: Knowledge of European and Film History. L'Origine operates on a more succinct and visceral level than this, one doesn't need to know that the opening shot of a golden lake conceals a scene from Godard's Hélas Pour Moi; a close-up of a woman stroking her pubic hair.

L'Origine may reveal more with multiple viewings but its affect is immediate. Regardless of whether one understands the puns or the multiple cultural references, it manages to say more about the 20th Century in its 15 minutes than a film like Schindler's List does in its 195.

It is a film that demands to be watched - a cinepoem/cinefesto - a glimpse beyond the dark windows towards the squandered possibilities of cinema and of the 20th Century.

Dark Windows or the Death of Godard
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Jean-Luc Godard - Four Short Films (and Hardback Book) [DVD] [2006]
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