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Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinemaby Daniel Morgan
Synopses & Reviews
Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema is an exhilarating and extremely lucid analysis of the way Godard thinks in, of, and through cinema. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of French culture, politics and theory, Morgan skillfully illustrates the complex relations between history, aesthetics, and nature in the directors later works. Defying criticism of Godards alleged retreat from politics, this book provides compelling, detailed, and erudite analyses of his later films and illuminates the auteurs political and aesthetic response to the so-called death of cinema.”— Mary Ann Doane, author of The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive.
Daniel Morgan charts a sensible route into the impenetrable Jean-Luc Godard. Posing clear yet insistent questions, he burrows to the center of both parts of this books formidable title, finding in late Godard an aesthetic fusion that generates the light and heat of a trenchant and powerful political critique. Anyone who feels drawn or licensed to write about Godard should read Morgan before setting out.”—Dudley Andrew, author of What Cinema Is!
Daniel Morgan's Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema signals a major breakthrough in the international study of the cinema of Jean-Luc Godard. Reconciling the filmmaker's peculiarly Romantic sense of aesthetics —to which the book pays scrupulous, material attention—with the thorny political histories that Godard's cinema has always probed, Morgan gives us new, compelling, synthetic tools with which to understand an artist who is at once the most cryptic and the most sensuous of all living filmmakers.”—Adrian Martin, Monash University, co-editor of lolajournal.com
With Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema, Daniel Morgan makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Jean-Luc Godard, especially his films and videos since the late 1980s, some of the most notoriously difficult works in contemporary cinema. Through detailed analyses of extended sequences, technical innovations, and formal experiments, Morgan provides an original interpretation of a series of several internally related films—Soigne ta droite (Keep Your Right Up, 1987), Nouvelle vague (New Wave, 1990), and Allemagne 90 neuf zéro (Germany 90 Nine Zero, 1991)—and the monumental late video work, Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998). Taking up a range of topics, including the role of nature and natural beauty, the relation between history and cinema, and the interactions between film and video, the book provides a distinctive account of the cinematic and intellectual ambitions of Godards late work. At the same time, Late Godard and the Possibilities of Cinema provides a new direction for the fields of film and philosophy by drawing on the idealist and romantic tradition of philosophical aesthetics, which rarely finds an articulation within film studies. In using the tradition of aesthetics to illuminate Godards late films and videos, Morgan shows that these works transform the basic terms and categories of aesthetics in and for the cinema.
About the Author
Daniel Morgan is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. The Work of Aesthetics
2. Nature and Its Discontents
3. Politics by Other Means
4. Cinema without Photography
5. What Projection Does
6. Cinema after the End of Cinema (Again)
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