More Than Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache

More Than Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache

Bar Laika presents
More Than Cinema: Jean-Luc Godard, A Letter to Freddy Buache
September 28, 2022, 9pm
Bar Laika by e-flux
224 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Bar Laika is very pleased to invite all to a screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s A Letter to Freddy Buache (Lettre à Freddy Buache, 1982, 12 minutes) on Wednesday, September 28 at 9pm.

A police officer informs Jean-Luc Godard and his film crew that the only time they can stop on the side of the road is in an emergency. Godard tells the officer that they are indeed experiencing an unforeseen emergency since the sun will set shortly, after which they would be unable to capture the city's image. This is a scene from Godard's short film, addressed to the Swiss film critic Freddy Buache. The truth is that this essay film was never meant to be made. Godard was initially commissioned by the city of Lausanne to create a film commemorating the city’s 500th anniversary, but the filmmaker had refused to meet the conventional demands of the genre of expository documentary, and his film was rejected. What Godard was striving for was a more-than-human image of the history of his native city, an attempt that Gilles Deleuze dubbed constructivist, saying that Godard’s goal was to “rebuild Lausanne using colors, Lausanne's speech, its indirect vision.” Following colors and contours that describe the terrain of Lausanne, Godard pushed the cinematic image towards abstract painting that exceeded the limits of what one expects from representational documentary. Both a refusal to compromise and a celebration of cinema, this essay film perfectly exemplifies Godard’s style, politics, and creative perseverance.

Let’s meet at Bar Laika to raise a glass to the master of cinema, JLG!

For more information contact

Experimental Film, Documentary

Jean-Luc Godard (1930-2022) was a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter, and film critic. He rose to prominence in the 1960s as a pioneer of the French New Wave film movement, and was often regarded as the most influential French filmmaker of the postwar period. From the radical transformation of cinematic storytelling and aesthetic conventions in his feature films of the 1960s, to his political cinema and meaningful collaborations, to his unparalleled exploration of what cinema was and is, to his never-ending fascination with new visual technologies and his reflection and critique on their socio-political role, Godard’s legacy will undoubtedly live on for future generations of artists and filmmakers.

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