In a perfect world we would’ve done an article on this in our Sept. 9 print edition. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so you’ll have to settle for this blog post.
Dec. 3 legendary French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard (pictured) turns 80. To commemorate that milestone a group of Regina artists and arts organizations have got together to organize what’s being billed as an “international, bilingual, interdisciplinary” conference that opens tomorrow and runs until Sept. 18.
If you notice, organizers didn’t limit themselves to examining Godard’s “legacy” in titling their conference. They’re examining his “legacies”. That’s not inappropriate because Godard and his films did impact in multiple ways. Most obviously, in the area of cinema and the arts in general. But also politically, as Godard’s rise to fame in the ’60s coincided with a very radical period in French politics. Not guillotine-radical like during the French Revolution, but there was some pretty vigorous protests.
To truly appreciate Godard’s genius, you have to consider how innovative he was in crafting his cinematic language. Things like jump-cuts that we take for granted today were popularized by him. And he’s very definitely considered a major influence in Hollywood.
Details on this three-day conference, which will include over 20 presenters, can be found at www2.uregina.ca/sonimage/ . To participate, you have to pay a registration fee. There are two public events, however. Sept. 17 at noon, L’Humanite film critic Jean Roy will speak at the Shu-Box Theatre at the University of Regina’s Riddell Centre. Then that evening at 7:30 p.m. at the MacKenzie Art Gallery Vancouver photographer Ian Wallace will speak on his companion exhibit to the Godard symposium Masculin/Feminin.
There’ll be other events happening in the lead up to Godard’s actual birth date, like an exhibition by Jeannie Mah and Jack Anderson that opens at the Dunlop Art Gallery on Nov. 20 and a performance (A Weekend in Alphaville) at Neutral Ground that same evening.
To close, here’s the trailer for Godard’s breakout film Breathless which, released as it was in 1960, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.