Histoire(s) du Cinema

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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duane hall
Can I confess something?
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:18 am

#201 Post by duane hall » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:15 am

kekid-- i find it curious and a bit funny that you would buy Histoire(s) despite not liking Godard's other work at all!

perhaps all the "effort" you're putting in is precisely the problem. by which i mean, some negative capability can go a long way in helping the culturally impoverished among us (myself very much included) derive enjoyment and enrichment from his films. also, it can help to zoom out and read godard's films at a more general formal level, rather than worry about what every particular moment means diegetically or conceptually. of course, individual moments and scenes are still very important, and can offer various windows or pathways into the film. but there is so much in each godard film that missing a lot should still leave you with a lapful. i know that many people just don't get godard, and sometimes no amount of encouragement or direction will change that. it's a shame, yes. but i'm sure your piety in the absence of rewards has been noted by the high priests of cinema.

kekid
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm

#202 Post by kekid » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:17 am

duane hall wrote:kekid-- i find it curious and a bit funny that you would buy Histoire(s) despite not liking Godard's other work at all!

perhaps all the "effort" you're putting in is precisely the problem. by which i mean, some negative capability can go a long way in helping the culturally impoverished among us (myself very much included) derive enjoyment and enrichment from his films. also, it can help to zoom out and read godard's films at a more general formal level, rather than worry about what every particular moment means diegetically or conceptually. of course, individual moments and scenes are still very important, and can offer various windows or pathways into the film. but there is so much in each godard film that missing a lot should still leave you with a lapful. i know that many people just don't get godard, and sometimes no amount of encouragement or direction will change that. it's a shame, yes. but i'm sure your piety in the absence of rewards has been noted by the high priests of cinema.
Vladimir Nabokov has acknowledged that he could not appreciate music as an art form. He then notes that his son was a musician, and on his testimony he concludes that there is something genuine about music that he (Vladimir) just could not seem to respond to. I could not respond to Brahms, and still do not in general, but I have found some of his works to resonate with me over time. I do not like Godard. I find him to be an artist with little inspiration and a lot of artifice. That is a capsule summary of my aversion to his work. However, many people I respect like Godard, so I accept that the limitation is perhaps mine. It seemed to me that Histoire(s) was a work in a different genre, and given Godard's reputation as a film critic, I decided to try it. It is a pity that it did not change my opinion of him.
I completely understand the argument about enjoying a film (or any work of art) without "understanding" a part or all of it. I cannot say I "understand" much of Tarkovsky, but I like his work. In that context, I do not "understand" Godard, and his work does not touch me at an intuitive level. We are not made of the same chemistry.

Hyperion
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:10 pm

#203 Post by Hyperion » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:31 pm

Can I ask what might be a dumb question?

The DVDBeaver review quotes a Twitchfilm article that mentions the set being R2-encoded. The amazon.fr listing also says "Région 2." However, Gary says "Each are un-coded (Region 0) in the PAL standard," and the DVDBeaver article mentions that they are R0 in at least three separate places. Which is correct? Can anyone confirm that the set currently being sold on amazon.fr is indeed region-free?

neal
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#204 Post by neal » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:03 am

Hyperion wrote:The DVDBeaver review quotes a Twitchfilm article that mentions the set being R2-encoded. The amazon.fr listing also says "Région 2." However, Gary says "Each are un-coded (Region 0) in the PAL standard," and the DVDBeaver article mentions that they are R0 in at least three separate places. Which is correct? Can anyone confirm that the set currently being sold on amazon.fr is indeed region-free?
The packaging itself says "ALL" for region coding, and DVDs register in my drive as being region 0.

s_mac_k
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#205 Post by s_mac_k » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:30 pm

There's defn an AE set coming, though probably not til early next year.
Must say though, having got the Gaumont set yesterday, apart from the subtitling (which I still feel is tough.... I can speak some languages but not a bit of french, so even the most basic on screen text eludes me, if AE can do a more complete job, I'll have to double dip) the set is gorgeous, love the design of the packaging and menus etc.
And the ECM set is fantastic as well. FYI there's a bit of writing about ECM from Godard in the new ECM book Horizons Touched. If you're into ECM at all, the book is really worth checking out.

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domino harvey
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#206 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:45 am

Having watched the first DVD so far, I gotta say that I agree with Rosenbaum. The lack of subtitling is not nearly as detrimental as I'd been led to believe, and I enjoyed the films immensely with the materials given. Besides, a lot of the on screen text is just plays on French film titles and other common-use French words, or at least enough to get the idea. I recant my earlier hysterics!

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Gropius
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#207 Post by Gropius » Sat May 12, 2007 10:50 pm

For the curious, someone has been uploading Histoire(s) in 10 minute chunks to YouTube (presumably a rip of this set), along with various other Godard/Marker/Resnais rarities, although the breach-of-copyright hourglass will already be in motion (these accounts are constantly deleted). Obviously the video quality is mediocre, but the clips might provide a useful taster.

Personally I can't get over the psychological barrier of watching a film in YouTube format. Maximise it to full screen and it blurs, although no worse than some of the VHS bootlegs of yore.

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Sanjuro
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:37 am
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#208 Post by Sanjuro » Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:14 pm

In addition to it's thousands of pages of annotation, the Japanese DVD seems to feature a 5.1 audio track which apparently isn't part of the French package. Was there originally 5.1 sound on this or is it something the Japanese distributor put together themselves?

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My Man Godfrey
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#209 Post by My Man Godfrey » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:57 pm

Kekid:

I appreciate your candor. I've experienced a lot of that same frustration with Godard.

Duane's response, while not snarky (there's way too much snark on this website, by the way! why can't a group of people who share a fairly esoteric obsession be a little more generous with each other?), seems a little unreasonable. Like Kekid, I'm not a Godard fan, but I keep banging my head against the proverbial brick wall for the reason Kekid mentioned: a number of people whose opinions I respect genuinely respect Godard -- they have a passion for his work that's obviously unfeigned -- and I'm not confident enough of my own cultural literacy to dismiss him.

There have been many times when I've come, through effort or persistence, to love something I previously disliked or found impenetrable or pretentious. Fassbinder and Bergman are two examples; I can't imagine life without these two directors now, but in both cases I had to keep coming back to their movies after frustrating initial experiences. (Cries and Whispers was the first Bergman movie I saw -- when I was 18 [and it still isn't one of my favorites] -- and my first exposure to Fassbinder was The Marriage of Maria Braun in a Film 101 class, at a point in my life and education when the movie couldn't possibly have resonated with me.)

There are times when Duane's suggestion that "working too hard" is counterproductive would be apt. I love Guy Maddin's movies, for instance, and it seems to me that a lot of people who feel intimidated by them (they aren't intimidating movies!) are under the impression that it's not okay to laugh at their absurdity, at the terrible dubbing, stiff, stylized performances, etc. -- that there's something other people are seeing that they're missing, though this isn't the case. That's just one example.

On the other hand, Histoire(s) du Cinema (especially in the maddening half-subtitled version that we non-French-speakers have to cope with) isn't the kind of movie that you can "sit back and absorb"; like, say, Weekend, it's a truly difficult movie; its meaning -- its content -- is found in split-second juxtapositions, wordplay, ironic sound collages . . . so the idea that "it shouldn't be an effort" to watch the movie seems, again, unreasonable.

And for that matter, what's wrong with art that demands some effort -- some critical thought -- from the viewer/reader? What's wrong with art that doesn't instantly become available to a serious reader, but continues to be frustrating and ambiguous after close reading? (I mean, I haven't given up on Godard. And I bought the Late Ozu Eclipse set, not in spite of the fact that I haven't enjoyed the Ozu movies I've seen, but because of it; I know that, unless I invest some money in the set, I won't feel compelled to soldier all the way through . . . and I have the hope that soldiering through the Ozu set might end up converting me to his cult. And I'm always happy to be converted. So it makes sense that Kekid, who hasn't enjoyed Godard in the past, would snap up the Gaumont Histoire(s) box.)

By the way: those subtitles really are awful. It's great that these films are finally available, but the intrusive Spanish subtitles previous posters have mentioned would be helpful in English if they were removable. (I've been able to make do with some of the excellent web resources on this film.)

lovermanzig
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#210 Post by lovermanzig » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:43 pm

Is the Histoire(s) du Cinema set no longer available? Just when I had enough money to buy it, Amazon lists it as out of print.

Jeff LeVine
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#211 Post by Jeff LeVine » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:33 pm

Thanks for reminding me I still need to watch this!

By the way, it's listed as shipping in 24 hours from both alapage and fnac, though the Gaumont site says it's "restocking" with tomorrow's date, so I wouldn't worry - it'll probably pop back up on amazon soon if you don't want to order from one of the other sites...

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Petty Bourgeoisie
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:17 am

#212 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:26 pm

Best DVD release of 2007 so far! And seeing how it's been out for 7 months, I doubt anything will come along to dethrone it before 31Dec07. Endlessly enlightening and challenging. Print out the reference guide (earlier in thread) for your second viewing. For the first viewing just react to Histoire(s) on gut instinct.

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GringoTex
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:57 am

#213 Post by GringoTex » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:16 am

lovermanzig wrote:Is the Histoire(s) du Cinema set no longer available? Just when I had enough money to buy it, Amazon lists it as out of print.
Wasn't one of the British houses supposed to release an edition? Whatever happened to that?

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Petty Bourgeoisie
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#214 Post by Petty Bourgeoisie » Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:39 pm

lovermanzig wrote:Is the Histoire(s) du Cinema set no longer available? Just when I had enough money to buy it, Amazon lists it as out of print.
If you're still having problems with Amazon's availability, I know xploitedcinema had some copies as of a week ago.

jurples
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:27 pm

#215 Post by jurples » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:02 pm

Petty Bourgeoisie wrote:
lovermanzig wrote:Is the Histoire(s) du Cinema set no longer available? Just when I had enough money to buy it, Amazon lists it as out of print.
If you're still having problems with Amazon's availability, I know xploitedcinema had some copies as of a week ago.
I got mine in the mail from xploited about 10 days ago.

lovermanzig
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:07 am

#216 Post by lovermanzig » Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:20 pm

Thanks for the tips, guys. I ordered my copy off of Xploitedcinema, plus they carry the subtitled version of the Chantal Akerman boxset. How did I miss this?

accatone
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 8:04 am

#217 Post by accatone » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:36 pm

After re-reading Saxton's essay "Anamnesis and Bearing Witness: Godard/Lanzmann" in the book FOREVER GODARD and after re-watching SHOAH i finally discovered Georges Didi-Hubermans book IMAGES MALGRÉ TOUT. For those of you who are interested in the "image" more than into the plot/drama this book is really fascinating and enlightening. With many cross references to SHOAH and the HISTOIRE(S) this book works out the importance of "historical" images (and images in general). I think the first sentence of the book summs it up quite well (i am translating from a german translation - that comes from the original french source…urrghh): To know, someone needs/make up an image. (probably again, my translation doesn't make any sense - sorry folks :)

Actually i wanted to post this in the Godard thread because it is of major importance for the general understanding of "later" Godard - in my opinion.

Telstar
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:35 pm

#218 Post by Telstar » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:01 am

Any updates on AE's rumored release?

Adam
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#221 Post by Adam » Tue May 13, 2008 8:34 pm

jamesonnephi wrote:Jean-Luc Godard - Histoire(s) du Cinema - R2 UK Artificial Eye, will be released on June 23, 2008.
Will it include the annotations?

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domino harvey
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#222 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 13, 2008 8:36 pm

It's Artificial Eye so we won't know anything until a review pops up

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Hopscotch
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#223 Post by Hopscotch » Tue May 13, 2008 9:06 pm

Hot damn. All on one disc though? Or is that just amazon.co.uk being ridiculous? Must be that.

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fiddlesticks
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#224 Post by fiddlesticks » Tue May 13, 2008 9:35 pm

Hopscotch wrote:Hot damn. All on one disc though? Or is that just amazon.co.uk being ridiculous? Must be that.
At £26.24 (discounted from £34.99), that'd be one mighty expensive disc.

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