Sunday, September 28, 2014

Un Grand Petit Film: En Attendant Godard

Barbara Cornaud is a Masters student in Film Studies in Lyon. She’s known on social media as ‘Moustache de souris’ (@Barbabou) and she's well known for her impromptu thoughts, typically annoyed, about life and culture. Barbara’s areas of research include the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and the films of Béla Tarr. One of the revelations, and cinematic highlights, of this weekend was the discovery of her earlier short film, En Attendant Godard (2010), which she co-directed. It’s about a young adolescent couple going about their afternoon as they squabble throughout cafés and the streets. He’s waiting for a meeting with Godard (he’ll be late, insists the director’s assistant) and she, enjoyably and frustrated, hangs around and experiences culture (reads Beckett and goes to the cinema). The directorial duo riffs on Godard though the film never feels like a pastiche. En Attendant Godard is closer to Yann Gonzalez’s Les rencontres d'après minuit in how it’s able to synthesize its sources to create something refreshingly original. En Attendant Godard begins with a static long-take filming a (home-made) tracking shot of small crew filming a young girl walking (a reference to Le Mépris) while the credits are read out loud. It also includes overlapping dialogue on top of a black screen, jump-cuts, and interesting re-working of the classic iconography of French cinema. While in terms of subject matter it’s full of the Bergmanesque Godard of arguments about relationships between couples and an existential dread. “Connard,” says the young women to her boyfriend after he says something stupid. Angry, to the point, and a little funny. En Attendant Godard est un grand petit film. Barbabou still has a lot to teach us.

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