Jean-Luc Godard

Why Chris Marker is the most important director you don't know

Article: Why Chris Marker is the most important director you don't know

Trying to explain why Chris Marker should be a household name to the average cinephile is a harder task than you think. For starters he was as painfully private as Vivian Maier, if not more, sans the nanny duties. But he seemed to play the part of reluctant pedagogue, which comes with being resistant to the press and social grandstanding, fairly well. And like a true introvert, he didn’t leave the many clues to his personal life that our culture has come to require in order to appreciate a director’s work.

BREATHLESS in the moment

Article: BREATHLESS in the moment

Why is Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS truly breathless? Why does it still feel fresh to me after seeing it countless times, to my filmmaker friends, to my students in their twenties? Watching the 50th anniversary restored print at the Film Forum last week, I relaxed into the large screen version of this French New Wave classic. This film pulses like an organism, moving through space and time quickly and elliptically in the Paris street scenes and then slowing down and luxuriating in the bedroom scene between the intriguingly glowing Jean Seberg and the endearing grumpiness of Jean-Paul Belmondo, a scene that lasts for what seems like half the film. It’s not just that it’s energetic or that it’s full of stylistic surprises, innovative editing even for today, stunning actors, and marvelous real world Paris locations… It’s somehow “in-the-moment” in a way that films rarely are… a kind of Buddhist crime caper…