The first feature length film Godard shot on video, Film Socialisme moves visually from grainy abstraction to the high drama and colour of overhead seascapes, rendered as beautifully as in any of his celluloid works. A collage of texts, musical phrases and still and moving images (including cameos from Battleship Potemkin), this is an essay film of three parts; the first set on an ocean liner casino cruise, the second confining us to a garage in the South of France, and the third bringing us to Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Greece, Naples and Barcelona. Godard presents with a complex reflection on the potential of community, leisure and socialism and how these things may or may not produce each other. 

Jean-Luc Godard
Fri 22/09
102 mins
The Maltings Cinema

Our fellow passengers incongruously include rock legend Patti Smith and a key anticlimax reveals philosopher Alain Badiou lecturing onboard to an empty auditorium. Voices and scripted performances mix in with wind, cat calls and parrots chattering. Language and meaning are in a state of flux, though whether the outcome might be chaos or emancipation is very unclear. Do not expect to read the answers in the subtitles with one of Godard's key messages perhaps, language fails us.

Read more at: 

Film Comment


Jean-Luc Godard

Born in 1930, Jean-Luc Godard became acquainted, while at the university, with Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, forming part of a group of passionate young film critics writing in Cahiers du Cinéma, and film-makers devoted to exploring new possibilities in cinema.

A bout de souffle (Breathless) (1959) was his first feature. Made on a shoe-string budget, it was spontaneous, vibrant and ground breakingly original.

His films have influenced film-makers as diverse as Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Jim Jarmusch, Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino and Wong Kar-Wai.

As the 1960s progressed, Godard became fascinated with developments in new media. Amongst his 'revolutionary films for revolutionary people' is his highly regarded Histoire(s) du cinema.

His latest film, Film Socialisme, received its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard) to great acclaim. Jean-Luc Godard also received an honorary Oscar in 2010.


Film Socialisme (Film Socialism) (2010), Notre musique (Our Music) (2004), Eloge de l'amour (In Praise of Love) (2001), Histoire(s) du cinéma — 1988-1998 (1998), For Ever Mozart (1996), 2 x 50 ans de cinéma français (2 x 50 French Cinema Years) (1995), JLG/JLG, autoportrait de décembre (JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December) (1994), Hélas pour moi (1993), Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (Germany Year 90) (1991), Nouvelle Vague (1990), Soigne ta droite, une place sur la terre (Keep Your Right Up) (1987), King Lear (1987), Soft and Hard (1986), Détective (Detective) (1985), Je vous salue, Marie (Hail Mary) (1985), Prénom Carmen (First Name: Carmen) (1983), Passion (1982), Sauve qui peut (la vie) Slow Motion (UK) Every Man for Himself (US) (1979), Comment ça va? (1978), France / tour / detour / deux enfants (France/Tour/Detour/Two/Children) (1977), Six fois deux / Sur et sous la communication (Six Times Two: On and Beneath Communication) (1977), Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere) (1976), Numéro deux (1975), Letter to Jane (1972), Tout va bien (Everything's Fine) (1972), One P.M. (1972), British Sounds (1970), Lotte in Italia (Struggles in Italy) (1970), Pravda (1970), Vladimir et Rosa (1970), Le Vent d'est (Wind from the East) (1969), Le Gai Savoir (1969), Un Film comme les autres (1968), Sympathy for the Devil (One plus One) (1968), Week End (1967), La Chinoise (1967), 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle (2 or 3 Things I Know About Her) (1966), Made in U.S.A. (1966), Masculin Féminin : 15 faits précis (1966), Pierrot le fou (1965), Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Alphaville) (1965), Une femme mariée : fragments d'un film tourné en 1964 en noir et blanc (A Married Woman) (1964), Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) (1964), Le Mépris (Contempt) (1963), Les Carabiniers (1963), Le Petit soldat (The Little Soldier) (1963), Vivre sa vie (To Live One's Life) (1962), Une femme est une femme (A Woman Is a Woman) (1961), À bout de souffle (Breathless) (1959)