New Works by Jean-Luc Godard | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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New Works by Jean-Luc Godard

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Essential viewing: an intimate hour-long self-portrait on film, JLG by JLG, plus the third and fourth episodes of Godard's ongoing video series Histoire(s) du cinema, each half an hour long; all three works were completed this year. Ostensibly a work of winter landscapes and brooding self-scrutiny, somewhat suggestive of German romanticism, the beautifully composed JLG occasionally gives you the uncomfortable feeling that Godard may be starting to fancy himself someone like Goethe, though he does include at least a couple of his characteristic ingenue employees, one of them in hot pants, along with a blown-up photograph of himself as a boy and various empty notebooks labeled with the first names of directors he admires: Roberto (Rossellini), Boris (Barnet), Nicholas (Ray), and Jacques (Rivette? Tati? Demy?). I prefer the equally private and contemplative but somewhat more accessible new chapters of Histoire(s) du cinema, titled "Only Cinema" and "Deadly Beauty"--both somewhat less frenetic than the first two episodes, though equally pungent and suggestive. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Sunday, June 26, 6:00, 443-3737.

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