By Stephen Scobie
Stephen Scobie celebrates “the maximum movie director of his age” with poetry exploring forty four of Godard’s motion pictures.
Subtle but profound unities play from poem to poem. Characters, destinations, pictures, and the beneficiant use of citation jump-cut and recur to ship the mind's eye reeling during the higher works of either artists. Readers can be seduced to linger in the writing and inspired to hunt past, to Godard's personal oeuvre.
The publication is sharply anticipated and punctiliously cadenced so one can satisfaction readers who is probably not acquainted with Godard's movies. these already familiar with Godard's paintings will locate on the restrict of breath a such a lot worthwhile adventure.
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Additional resources for At the Limit of Breath: Poems on the Films of Jean-Luc Godard
Sexual violence is also implicit in one juxtaposition suggesting that A has been shot: scenes of M and other men with pistols engaging in a marksmanship game cut to a shot of A lying crumpled on the ﬂoor of her bedroom. As the camera moves closer, we see her open eyes and her ﬁnger placed coyly on her mouth. The combined effect of the two scenes is that of a violent event transformed into an erotic one. Similarly, violence is suggested by A’s startling and otherwise inexplicable scream when, in a series of rapidly intercut shots, she drops a glass simultaneously in a bar and in her bedroom as she hears X approaching.
Because rape produces the instability of all narratives in the ﬁlm, it cannot be shown in any of the ﬁlm’s narratives. One returns to a traumatic event because it was never fully symbolized. The rape is blocked, it is given in none of the accounts — it is the least stable moment in the entire ﬁlm. Thus, we endlessly circle it as the void whose absence makes possible the presence of the text. The gorgeous surface of Kurosawa’s ﬁlm — all shadows and glisten — stylistically argues for the ﬁlm as a beautiful substitute for something much darker that the surface cannot hold; in many ways, Rashomon is the fetish object that at once acknowledges and disavows the traumatic vision of the rape at its core.
Motoki rapes Yasuko in a ﬁeld. Later in the ﬁlm Yasuko seduces Motoki in the same ﬁeld and is instrumental in convincing him that the testament ﬁlm is real and that the Endo who shot the ﬁlm really did exist. ’”22 Note that Branigan writes “According to Motoki, Yasuko and Endo were lovers. ” He does not write, “according to Motoki, Motoki rapes Yasuko in the ﬁeld,” nor does he ascribe knowledge of that act to Yasuko; it is simply a knowledgeable given of the text, a critical preliminary to be dispensed with before the meaty excitement of textual interpretation.