Histoire(s) du Cinema

(1988)

Genres: Documentary

Movies That Made Us Critics: Histoire(s) du Cinema

Transcript for Movies That Made Us Critics: Histoire(s) du Cinema

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY: 
Now, my film doesn’t have a troubled production history, but it did take almost a decade to make.  I can think of no single work that has had a bigger influence on me than an 8-part, 10-year project by the legendary director Jean-Luc Godard called HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA, a moving, multi-layered film that is part essay and part poem.

CLIP from HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA

IGNATIY:
In French the word for “story” and for “history” is the same: Histoire.  So, one possible translation of “HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA” could be “the story of the cinema.”  It’s a story that Godard tells using layered sound, inter-titles in many languages, and clips from many films put in a new context. Just watch:

CLIP from HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA

IGNATIY: 
Out of all the many ideas in Godard’s film, the one that I am drawn to the most is that there is a single story of cinema made up of all the images and all the sounds and ideas and feelings of all movies, and it reminds me of a saying beloved by Godard’s fellow New Wave pioneer, Claude Chabrol, that there are no waves, there is only the ocean.  This film is not currently available on DVD, but you can find it on the internet.