Godard and Sound: Acoustic Innovation in the Late Films of Jean-Luc Godard — Book Review by Kathleen Sachs (Exclusive)

Godard and Sound: Acoustic Innovation in the Late Films of Jean-Luc Godard — Book Review by Kathleen Sachs (Exclusive)

Albertine Fox does a fantastic job summarizing the book’s theoretical mission in the first chapter. The book is not only a good resource for the topic at hand; it also provides ‘mini-lessons’ on subjects with which readers may be unfamiliar. This reflects the author’s thoughtfulness—she doesn’t assume that everyone reading is familiar with every reference, and she elaborates in such a way that even those who are familiar will glean something new from how she connects the ideas to her own.

Read More

Looking at the Carpet from the Wrong Side: Albertine Fox on writing Godard and Sound (Exclusive)

Looking at the Carpet from the Wrong Side: Albertine Fox on writing Godard and Sound (Exclusive)

In her biography of the art critic and painter Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf makes much of the ‘perpetual need’ for the critic to look at art objects from new angles. Unpredictable and erratic in his approach, Fry ‘looked at the carpet from the wrong side; but he made it for that very reason display unexpected patterns.’ I have written a book called Godard and Sound that offers an alternative perspective on Jean-Luc Godard’s later films through an analysis of their rich soundscapes. At the same time, it develops an aural-inspired approach to thinking and writing about film, setting off from the simple but liberating premise that our relationship with film changes when we listen, and it’s the twofold nature of my book that brings me to write this article. Continue reading…

Read More

Godard and Sound: Acoustic Innovation in the Late Films of Jean-Luc Godard, Excerpt from Chapter Five (Exclusive) — Albertine Fox

Godard and Sound: Acoustic Innovation in the Late Films of Jean-Luc Godard, Excerpt from Chapter Five (Exclusive)  — Albertine Fox

Albertine Fox writes: “I came to the topic not by way of French New Wave cinema but after writing a dissertation called ‘The Sound of the Image’ that explored the role of sound, music and voice in the experimental cinema of the French writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras. Duras’s ingenious idea of using the entire soundtrack from one of her films as the soundtrack for another was a powerful way of coming to understand the political implications of the radical disjunction of voice and image in cinema. In her film India Song, the offscreen voices and auditory renderings of alienation and intimacy undermine traditional patriarchal cinema’s restrictive scopic regime, bringing the spectator into contact with other, more ambiguous forms of pleasure and suffering, and with a different model of feminine subjectivity which I found deeply inspiring. Having grappled with the untapped freedoms that come from analysing sound in films that don’t abide by narrative conventions, I became enamoured with the disruptive and unpredictable soundscape of Godard’s Weekend, and with the subtle levels of repetition and variation in his earlier feature Vivre sa vie (My Life to Live). Read the excerpt…

Read More