Michael Witt on Godard
Film and Screen Media Research Seminar Series: Dr Michael Witt (Roehampton) on "Godard, montage and cinema history: Sauve la vie (qui peut)", Tuesday 11 February 2014, 5 p.m., Film and Screen Media Auditorium, Windle Building, UCC
Film and Screen Media Research Seminar Series
Tuesday 11 February 2014, 5 p.m., Film and Screen Media Auditorium, Windle Building, UCC
Dr Michael Witt (Roehampton)
"Godard, montage and cinema history: Sauve la vie (qui peut)"
This talk will focus on a little-know aspect of the genesis of Jean-Luc Godard's monumental investigation of cinema and history, Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1999): the series of talks on film history that he delivered in Rotterdam in 1980-1981. For one of these talks, he created a ‘special edition’ of his then most recent film, Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself, aka Slow Motion, 1980), in which he interspersed extracts from his own film with clips from four others: Eisenstein and Alexandrov’s The General Line (1929), Cline and Keaton’s Cops (1922), Visconti’s The Earth Trembles (1948), and Wajda’sMan of Marble (1977). He called this remarkable compilation film Sauve la vie (qui peut); it was shown once (during the 1981 Rotterdam Film Festival), and has since been almost completely forgotten. Michael Witt has produced a digital reconstruction of Sauve la vie (qui peut) drawing on archival research, including examination of the original reels of film that Godard used. This talk will consider Sauve la vie (qui peut) though reference to Godard's wider historiographic project.
Michael Witt is Reader in Cinema Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures at the University of Roehampton, London. He is the author of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian (Indiana UP, 2013), and the co-editor of For Ever Godard (Black Dog, 2004), The French Cinema Book (BFI, 2004), and Jean-Luc Godard: Documents (Centre Pompidou, 2006). He has recently contributed an introduction to the new transcription and translation into English of Godard’s Introduction to a True History of Cinema and Television (Caboose, forthcoming April 2014).