BFI to kick off 2016 with three-month celebration of Jean-Luc Godard
by Naman Ramachandran
- Anna Karina to participate in Contempt, Vivre sa vie and Bande à part screenings
It will be a happy new year indeed for film buffs in London as the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank mounts a major season of the work of the godfather of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard, from 1 January – 16 March. Structured chronologically, the season will include over 100 examples of his vast output, including feature films, short films, self-portraits, experimental television productions and a number of rarities. Highlights include an extended run of the BFI re-release of Contempt (1963), back in selected cinemas across the UK from 1 January. On January 16, the star of many of Godard’s early films and his former wife Anna Karina, will introduce a screening of Contempt, and also take part in Q&As following Vivre sa vie (1962) and Bande à part (1964), both of which she starred in and will play on extended run during the season.
Born in 1930, and active as a critic from 1950 Godard conceived his first feature Breathless (1960), based on a treatment by François Truffaut, as a manifesto for a new type of filmmaking. Other films being screened include Pierrot le fou (1965), Le Petit soldat (1960), Une Femme est une femme (1961) and Alphaville (1965), besides his varied body of video and television work. As his recent 3D feature Goodbye to Language (2014) demonstrates, Godard remains at the age of 85 a vital creative force.
The season is co-curated by Michael Witt, Professor of Cinema at the University of Roehampton and author of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian, and Michael Temple, Reader in Film and Media at Birkbeck and co-editor of several books on Godard.