Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian

Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian

Michael Witt
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/07/2013
ISBN: 978-0-253-00730-8
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Winner of the 2014 Limina Award for Best International Film Studies Book

Originally released as a videographic experiment in film history, Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma has pioneered how we think about and narrate cinema history, and in how history is taught through cinema. In this stunningly illustrated volume, Michael Witt explores Godard’s landmark work as both a specimen of an artist's vision and a philosophical statement on the history of film. Witt contextualizes Godard's theories and approaches to historiography and provides a guide to the wide-ranging cinematic, aesthetic, and cultural forces that shaped Godard's groundbreaking ideas on the history of cinema.

Author Bio

Michael Witt is Professor of Cinema and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures at University of Roehampton in London. He is co-editor of several books on French film including Jean-Luc Godard: Documents, The French Cinema Book, and For Ever Godard.


“Michael Witt has given us a clear, exhilarating, inspiring presentation of Godard’s tour de force, Histoire(s) du cinéma, bringing the director’s entire body of work into focus in the process. Beautifully written, his study succeeds brilliantly in making Godard’s most difficult films and videos comprehensible, tracing their genealogies within the director’s career and his points of reference. This is essential reading about digital media’s potential to “write history”, raising wonderful questions about a committed personal approach to 'cinema history'. ”
 — Janet Bergstrom, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Godard's Theorem
1. Histoire(s) du cinéma: A History
2. The Prior and Parallel Work
3. Models and Guides
4. The Rise and Fall of the Cinematograph
5. Cinema, Nationhood, and the New Wave
6. Making Images in the Age of Spectacle
7. The Metamorphoses

Works by Godard
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