The weekend's here, and with it comes one of the Bill Cosford Cinema's first 35mm screenings since becoming a finalist for the Knight Arts Challenge. As expected, the Cosford Classics series is furthering its exploration of interesting filmmakers; this time, the name of the man is Jean-Luc Godard.
Playing one film per month, the Cosford will be showing three of Jean-Luc Godard's works on celluloid as part of a series titled Godard à Go-Go. The first, coming this Sunday at 5:30 p.m., is Vivre Sa Vie. Pierrot le Fou follows in July and Bande à part in August. With the director's most recent work, Goodbye to Language 3D, winning him the grand jury award (or rather tying with Xavier Dolan's Mommy) at Cannes, cinema director Trae DeLellis thought it was the perfect time to bring out Godard's work.
"Part of the timing of the series is the fact that Godard returned to the Cannes competition to show Goodbye to Language 3D," DeLellis says, but not before reminding that the theater has already shown one of the director's works earlier. "One of the first films that was shown as a Cosford Classic was Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend. It's obviously a hard film to watch, shocking and demanding, and it marks Godard's break with conventional cinema into a period of esoteric experimentation and political provocation."
All three of the features the Cosford is planning on showing, however, came before that period of Godard's career, the closest being Pierrot le Fou, which Miami New Times and Indie Ethos writer Hans Morgenstern will be introducing. As important a film in his career as it is, the selection of Pierrot le Fou was actually inspired by a discussion that DeLellis had with filmmaker Chantal Akerman when she came to the Cosford years ago.
"She said it was the film that had made her want to make films," he explains.
But more than that, the selection of films is about his own love for Godard. A francophile to a fault, DeLellis even considers Vivre Sa Vie as one of his favorites ever made.
"The collaboration between Godard and Anna Karina is essential," he says. "Those films are so special and different from the rest and encapsulate the time they were made."
But all of Jean-Luc Godard's films hold so many ideas that DeLellis is fond of, including Bande à part, which has its 50th anniversary coming up this summer.
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"These ideas had to be committed to film before they were lost forever. There is something magical, frenetic and beautifully unhinged about him, almost the opposite of Alain Resnais' elegance and control."
Resnais was just one of the filmmakers formerly shown and Godard certainly won't be the last, as DeLellis already has some plans underway for the next director he's focusing on: Roman Polanski. With his latest play adaptation, Venus in Fur, hitting theaters in July, one can only wonder what classic film it might be paired with on 35mm.
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