Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard
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Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  272 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A “serious-minded and meticulously detailed . . . account of the lifelong artistic journey” of one of the most influential filmmakers of our age (The New York Times)

When Jean-Luc Godard wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Unlike any earlier films, Godard’s work shifts fluidly from fiction to do...more
Paperback, 720 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Picador (first published May 13th 2007)
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1. Vivre Sa Vie
2. Pierrot Le Fou
3. Weekend
4. Band of Outsiders
5. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her
6. Alphaville
7. A Woman Is a Woman
8. Breathless
9. Contempt
10. Masculin Féminin
11. Une Femme Mariée
12. Passion
13. Notre Musique
14. Prénom Carmen
15. Hail Mary
16. Le Petit Soldat
17. Tout Va Bien
18. Ici et Ailleurs
19. Eloge de L'amour
20. Numero Deux

Les Carabiniers
Made in U.S.A.
La Chinoise

King Lear
Soigne Ta Droite
For Ever Mozart
Le Gai Savoir
Comment ça va?...more
Richard Brody's very long critical biography on one of the great film artists of the 20th Century is both thoughtful, damning (in a sense) and also provocative. I don't fully buy his theory that all the films he made in the 60's was about Godard's relationship with wife/muse Anna Karina. I think it is partly true, but it's for sure not the whole picture of the man and his work. But a big part...?

i really enjoyed the part of the book that deals with Godard's later years. It seems he consistently...more
I'm so used to reading books on Godard by the post-Marxist Colin MacCabe, I'm having a hard time with this one because it's so far a fairly apolitical review of the director's life. Not that there's anything wrong about that. I'm just surprised, especially after seeing the size of Richard Brody's beard on the inside flap.
(100 pp later)
OK, so there's lots of politics in the book, only because Godard was so intensely engaged with the political issues of his day. I like Brody's way of putting each...more
In Richard Brody's tour-de-force of film scholarship, he delves deeply into one of the most labyrinthine oeuvres in all of cinema: Jean-Luc Godard.

The book is simply astounding in its scope: detailed background, production history, critical reception and analysis for no less than every film and video Godard has produced in his prolific career since 1959, often producing at a rate of 2 or 3 films per year. No less impressive is Brody's attention to detail in unpacking the insane web of references...more
A great, dense, in depth look at all of Godard's work. Brody does an excellent job at weaving together, biography, the conditions surrounding the development and filming of a project, and insightful analysis of the work itself. Brody doesn't shy away from painting Godard in a negative light when the situation calls for it (and it often does). He perhaps spends a little more time on Godard's major output in the 60s, which is as it should be, but the great thing is that he doesn't slight the later...more
Phenomenal, unflinching work covering the life and films of the artist.
Mark Crouch
So this is pretty great. Brody's exhaustive biography of one of the most influential filmmakers/intellectuals of the 20th/21st century is a very deep and rewarding experience. When beginning this book my plan was after each chapter (which usually corresponded with a specific film(s)) was to watch the film that chapter covered. This stopped around Made in U.S.A. or 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her when I realized I'm not a robot and able to make it through all of these films over the course of just...more
Apr 05, 2009 Jeffrey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film buffs, those who know Godard's work
Richard Brody believes in Jean-Luc Godard, if not necessarily in Godard's beliefs. That belief in Godard's aesthetic quality and talent is strong, but it undermines an otherwise insightful, well researched, and well constructed book.

"Everything is cinema," is Godard's expression that everything, or at least everything important, must be seen to be understood. It must be captured and held onto. Memory lasts only as long as those who remember. Words do not do justice or give us the greater underst...more
As someone not particulariy involved with Godard's films (having only seen breathless) I picked this up more out of interest in general film theory and respect for the people who wrote the reviews on the back cover (Jonathon Lethem, Wes Anderson)than anything to do with Godard himself - superficial reasons to be sure. Obviously if I was more familiar with JLG's work I would have gotten more out of this book, however, as a notable member of the mid-century film autuers Godard's many philosophies,...more

I was really excited to pick this up since I've gone through a Godard obsession lately. I poured over it and read it diligently for a few weeks.

The thing is...I had a lukewarm experience.

Brody does an amazing job of scholarship. Godard has made a huge amount of work and Brody really has seen ALL of it. No mean feat- particularly when the work is as dense and elliptical and challenging as Godard's.

While reading I thought that as I got frustratingly little on some the films I was most curious abou...more
Ryan Chapman
Brody doesn't pretend to get inside Godard's head, or write a biography in the polymathic nature of his subject's approach to cinema. Instead, he writes straightforward accounts of the director's career, steeped in research and relevant political and cinematic contexts. This may sound boring; it's revelatory. Godard was such a mercurial and self-doubting intellectual that one doesn't need bells and whistles to make his story compelling.

What Brody doesn't discuss, but feels like a natural addendu...more
I haven't read or bought this yet, but it looks amazing. Brody's book is a 600 page biography about Godard, with blurbs on the back from Jonathan Lethem, Wes Anderson, and Bernard-Henri Lévy—so I am pretty sure it's quality. I just watched a Woman is Woman on NetFlix and I am in awe of his unique style and innovations, that were obviously direct influences on the artistic substratum of Gondry, Allen, and Kaufman—-my favorite contemporary directors. Even to this day, Godard's films still feel ahe...more
Andrew Bishop
Sober and responsible, this is the book for building an understanding of the Godard universe. Recommended for devoted cinephiles, though. This is a good biography, but Brody covers a lot of ground that only iniates will recognize. Otherwise, it can seem like too much material. I enjoyed it because the situation of historical event - where Godard was often present in the seventies - helped me place him in better context. Unlike the sixties where it seemed that he just stayed in France, made those...more
Andrew Peyrie
I don't like Godard's films. OK? I watched them, I see them, but they don't attract me. I read this as deep cultural history. And then I watched "A Woman Is A Women" and hated it.

The biography is well written, engaging, exhaustive, and leads off the track to Artaud, Sartre while including Agnes Varda (who I like better as a film maker).

The book documents the interaction between French literary and cinematic traditions: Godard sincerely mimics "classic" American films while acknowledging the art...more
Jason Coffman
"Epic" hardly seems to cover the scope of this book. Author Richard Brody's incredibly ambitious, exhaustively researched, and thoroughly readable biography of Jean-Luc Godard is pretty damned amazing. Clocking in at over 600 pages, "Everything Is Cinema" should satisfy your curiosity regarding any aspect of Godard's filmmaking career. It also beautifully illustrates how Godard's life and work, more than perhaps any other filmmaker, have been inextricably linked.
This exhaustive biography on JLG does a great job of making the ornery director look like a total shit, but fails miserably in expressing the sense of fun in many of his films and what caused him to achieve his legendary status. The book is most interesting and useful when it covers all those bizarre video projects and obnoxiously political films that you'll probably never see.
I'll admit: I read only the first half of Brody's thoroughly researched biography, dealing with Godard's youth and the films up through La Chinoise and Weekend; it was a good companion to the recent Film Forum retrospective, "Godard's ’60s." My interest in the later films, and the book, flagged.
Well I finally finished this monster of a book. I can't say I retain any of the knowledge I read, other than the French filmmaker Godard likes making films about prostitues. But it was interesting and helped prepare me for film school.
Jun 25, 2008 Raquel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cinephiles
A must-read for any cinephile, francophile, and cultural enthusiast. I wrote a review of the book for Forbes, which you can read here
Nicholas Mennuti
Proves something I had suspected -- there is too much Godard. That said, it is a fascinating look into a man who never forsook experimental cinema or his politics even at the expense of his audience.
Comprehensive. Exhausting. Terrific. Godard is one of the hardest working and authentic artists of the 20th century. If I could only paint the way he makes movies...
Richard Anderson
Excellent guide to the sometimes enigmatic oeuvre of JLG. Actually he comes across as a fairly repellent and vain human being, but that's the man, not the work.
Brody's insight into JLG's working methods is deep as hell. It took me months to rewatch the entire oeuvre while reading this book. It was worth it.
Brody does an excellent job taking us through Godard's life, thoughts, musings and chronicling his great works, definitely no light task!
Bruce Foster
A fascinating read on an intensely focused filmmaker with a unique sence of the forces at play within the Frame.
Brian Tibby
Oct 08, 2009 Brian Tibby is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I love Godard and can't wait to read this book!
Armando Olivas
A concise and in depth bio on JLG.
Give this back to me Pablo!
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Richard Brody began writing for The New Yorker in 1999, and has contributed articles about the directors François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Samuel Fuller. Since 2005, he has been the movie-listings editor at the magazine; he writes film reviews, a column about DVDs, and a blog about movies, The Front Row. He is the author of the book “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard....more
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