Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Godard on Kubrick, Part II

Reading Godard's thoughts of Stanley Kubrick change over time from this to what follows, for me at least, is quite interesting, even if it only exists in these short broad sentences -- serious punnage included.

Began flashily by making glacial copies of Ophuls's tracking shots and Aldrich's violence. Then became a recruit to intellectual commerce by following the international paths of glory of another K, an older Stanley who also saw himself as Livingstone, but whose weighty sincerity turned up trumps at Nüremberg, whereas Stanley Junior's cunning look-at-me tactics foundered in the cardboard heroics of Spartacus without ever attaining the required heroism. So Lolita led one to expect the worst. Surprise: it is a simple, lucid film, precisely written, which reveals America and American sex better than either Melville or Reichenbach, and proves that Kubrick need not abandon the cinema provided he films characters who exist instead of idea which exist only in the bottom drawers of old scriptwriters who believe that the cinema is the seventh art.

-- Cahiers du cinéma 150-151, Special American issue, December 1963-January 1964

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