May 28, 2010

" Copyright? An author has only duties" - Jean-Luc Godard

Rolle is not really the center of the world. Just a small town a bit bleak on the lake, 40 kilometers from Geneva. But it is also a paradise for millionaires seeking tax exemption. For friendly taxi driver who took us to the Geneva train station, few people of this geography has imposed no secret: "You see the house on the side below the hill, that of Michael Schumacher. And there lived Peter Ustinov. Phil Collins, is there ... "

And Jean-Luc Godard, then? "Once, a Japanese got into my car, took the driver, and asked me if I knew where lived Mr. Godard. I said yes, I took him, he said, "Wait for me a minute," has three photos, climbed into the taxi and asked me to return to the station. It is known to Japan, Mr. Godard! "If perhaps the most legendary head Vaud" to Japan, "Mr. Godard does not live in Rolle for the same reason that the neighborhood people.

Domiciled in France, pays taxes there. He lives in Switzerland because he was born, because he can not do without "certain landscapes, we will say in an interview, as always with him, very scenic. During four hours in his office a little rough, very functional, just next to his classroom with his half-dozen flat screens and shelves filled with countless VHS or DVD from which it draws its quotations, we talked about history, politics, Greece, intellectual property, film course, but also more intimate things, like health or relationship to death.

J.-M. L

MAINTENANCE> Why the title, Film Socialism?

Jean-Luc Godard - I still have titles in advance, which give me an indication of films that I could turn.

A title before any idea of the film is a bit like the one in music. I have quite a list. Like any title of nobility or securities bank. Instead of bank securities. I started with Socialism, but Avance As the film, it seemed less and less satisfactory. The film could well have been called Communism or Capitalism. But there was a funny coincidence: in reading a little booklet of presentation that I had sent, hence the name Vega Film production preceded the title, Jean-Paul Curnier (philosopher - ed) has read "Socialism Film "and thought it was the title. He wrote me a letter of twelve pages telling me how he liked it. I thought he must be right and I decided to keep film Socialism. Déniaisait That one little word.

Where does this idea of cruising the Mediterranean? From Homer?

At first I thought of another story that happen in Serbia, but it did not. Then I had the idea of family in a garage, the Martin family. But that did not feature on, because otherwise people would become of the characters and what is happening would become narrative. The story of a mother and her children, a film as can be done in France, with dialogues, states of mind.

Precisely, the members of this family are almost like characters in a fiction ordinary. It was not arrived at your cinema for a very long time ...

Yes, maybe ... Not quite anyway. The scenes are interrupted before they become characters. Rather, they are statues. Statues that talk. If one speaks of statues, one says "it just once. And if they say "sometime", then it goes on a trip, we sailed on the Mediterranean. Hence the cruise. I read a book by Leon Daudet, the polemical turn of the century, called The Voyage of Shakespeare. It followed the boat trip on the Mediterranean young Shakespeare, who had not yet written. All that comes slowly.

How do you arrange for all?

There are no rules. It is poetry, or painting, or mathematics. The geometry of the former especially. The urge to compose images, put a circle around a square, draw a tangent. It is elementary geometry. If it's elementary, there are elements. Then I watch the sea ... So, this is not really describable, it is associations. And when we say combination, we can say socialism. If we say socialism, we can talk about politics.

For example the web laws, the issue of downloading penalized, property images ...

I am against Hadopi course. There is no intellectual property. I am against the inheritance, for example. That the children of an artist can enjoy the rights of the work of their parents, why not reach their majority ... But then I do not think it's obvious that children receive commission on Ravel's Bolero ...

You are claiming any rights to artists who take pictures of your movies?

Of course not. Besides, people do it, put it on the internet and in general is not very good ... But I do not feel they'd take something. I do not have internet. Anne-Marie (Mieville, his partner and director - ed) is used. But in my film, there are images that come from Internet, as these pictures of two cats together.

For you, there is no difference in status between these anonymous images of cats that circulate on the Internet and the plan of John Ford's Cheyenne that you also use in Film Socialism?

By statute, I do not see why I would make a difference. If I had to plead legally against charges of looting of images in my films, I would hire two lawyers with two different systems. One would defend the right of quotation, which hardly exist in film. In literature, one can cite widely. As Miller (Life and debauchery, travel in the work of Henry Miller - ed) by Norman Mailer, there are 80% of Henry Miller and Norman Mailer 20%. In science, no scientist pay a fee to use a formula established by a colleague. That's the quote and the film does not allow it. I read the book by Marie Darrieussecq, Police report, and I find it very well because it is a history of this issue. The copyright is not really possible. An author has no right. I have no rights. I have only duties. And then in my film, there is another type of loans, not quotations but simply extracts. As a shot when you take a blood sample for analysis. That would be the argument of my second lawyer. He would defend such use that I plan trapeze from the Beaches of Agnes. This plan is not a quote, I did not mention the film by Agnes Varda: I enjoy his work. This is an excerpt that I take, that I incorporate it elsewhere to take another direction, namely symbolize peace between Israel and Palestine. This plan, I did not pay. But when Agnes asked me money, I think we could pay the right price. That is to say in relation to the film economy, the number of spectators that key ...

To express the peace in the Middle East by a metaphor, why would you hijack a picture of Agnes Varda, rather than a turn?

I found the metaphor very well in the film of Agnes.

But she is not ...

No, of course. It was I who build moving image. I do not do harm to the image. I thought she was perfect for what I meant. If Palestinians and Israelis rose and made a circus trapeze act together, things would be different in the Middle East. This image shows a perfect match for me, exactly what I wanted to express. Then I take the picture, since it exists. The socialism of the film is to undermine the idea of ownership, beginning with the works ... It should not have any property works. Beaumarchais would only receive a portion of the proceeds of the Marriage of Figaro. He could say "Figaro, it's me who wrote it. But I do not think he would have said "Figaro, it's mine. This sense of ownership of works came later. Today, a type of lighting installation on the Eiffel Tower, it was paid for it, but if you shoot the Eiffel Tower you must still pay him something.

Your film will be posted on FilmoTV same time we can find out by room ...

The idea is not mine. When we made the film trailers, that is to say the whole movie in fast forward but I suggested we put them on Y ouTube because it is a good way to move things. The online is the idea of the distributor. They have donated money for the film, so I do what they ask me. If it were up to me, I would not have released in theaters this way. It took four years to film. In terms of production, it is very atypical. It has turned four, with Battaggia, Arragno, Grivas, equally. Each left his side and brought images. Grivas left alone in Egypt and reduced hours of film ... It was a lot of time. I think the film should have been given the same over time for distribution.

What does that mean concretely?

I would have liked to hire a boy and a girl, a couple who had wanted to show things, which is somewhat related to the cinema, the kind of young people you can meet in small theaters. It gives them a DVD copy of film and then asked to train as a paratrooper. Then you point at random locations on a map of France and they parachute in these places. They must show the movie where they land. In a cafe, a hotel ... they are doing. They charge sitting 3 or 4 euros, not more. They can film this adventure and then sell it. Thanks to them, you investigate what it means to distribute that film. After only you can make decisions, whether or not you can project it in normal rooms. But not before making an investigation of one or two years on it. Because before, you're like me, you do not know what it's like this film, you do not know who may be interested. You have just deserted the media space.

In the 1980s, you saw more in the press, on television ...

Yes, it bothers me now. I am not trying to subvert a process of television. At the time, I thought a little. I do not think it would change anything but it would interest people to do otherwise. It interests them three minutes. There are still things that interest me on television programs about the animals, the chains of history. I like Dr. House, too. He is hurt, everyone gathered around him, the characters speak in a vocabulary hyper, I like. But I could not watch ten more.

Why have invited Alain Badiou or Patti Smith in your last film to film them so little?

Patti Smith was there so I filmed. I do not see why I had to shoot longer than, for example, a waitress.

Why had he asked to be there?

For there to be a good American. Someone who embodies something other than imperialism.

And Alain Badiou?

I wanted to quote a text on the geometry of Husserl and I wanted someone develops something of his own from that. It was concerned.

Why does the film deal with an empty room?

Because his speech did not interest tourists from the cruise. It was announced that there would be a conference on Husserl and nobody came. When we took Badiou in this empty room, it has rained a lot. He said: "Finally, I can talk to anyone." (Laughs) I could have fit more closely, not to film the empty room, but he had to show that it was a voice in the wilderness, we is in the desert. It reminds me of the quote from Jean Genet: "We must get the pictures because they are in the wilderness." In my films, there is never any intent. This is not me who invented this empty room. I do not mean anything, I try to show, or felt, or allowed to say anything after. When we hear: "The bastards today are sincere, they believe in Europe", what else can it mean? We can not believe in Europe without being a jerk? Is a phrase that occurred to me while reading passages from Nausea. In those days, the bastard was not sincere. A torturer knew he was not honest. Now the bastard is sincere. As for Europe, it has a long history, there is no need to do as it is done. I find it hard to understand for example that can be parliamentary, as Danny (Daniel Cohn-Bendit - ed.) Strange, no?

Ecology should not be a political party?

You know ... The left parties are always taken. Even their names sometimes. De Gaulle was against the parties. After the Liberation, he still brought the parties to the Council of the Resistance to carry weight with the Americans. There was even the National Front. Except it was not the same thing today. It was an undertaking of the Communist Party at that time. I do not really know why other then kept that name. Bias ...

The penultimate film is the quote: "If the law is unjust, justice comes before the law" ...

It is in relation to copyright. All DVD begins with a carton of the FBI, which criminalizes the copy. I went for Pascal. But you can hear something else in that sentence. Presumably, the arrest of Roman Polanski, for example.

What do you think the fact that Polanski's arrest occurred in your country, Switzerland?

I am Franco-Swiss. I go to Switzerland, but I'm living in France, I pay my taxes in France. In Switzerland, I like some landscapes that I could hardly do without. And then I have roots here. But politically, many things shock me. Compared with Polanski, Switzerland did not have to submit to the United States. It should discuss, not to accept. I wish all the filmmakers go to Cannes rally for Polanski, say the Swiss justice is not fair. As they have done to support director Jafar Panahi incarcerated. As we have said "the Iranian regime is an evil regime," he would say "the Swiss system is not good."

The ban minarets?

That sucks ... As regards Switzerland, I agree with Gaddafi: Western Switzerland belongs to France, Switzerland, Germany German, Italian Switzerland to Italy, and now, more than Switzerland!

The crisis in Greek resonates strongly with your film ...

We should thank Greece. It was the West which has a debt to Greece. Philosophy, democracy, the tragedy ... We always forget the link between tragedy and democracy. Without Sophocles not Pericles. Without Pericles not Sophocles. The technological world in which we live must at Greece. Who invented the logic? Aristotle. If this and if so, then this. Logic. This is what the dominant powers use all day, making sure there is certainly no contradiction, it remains in the same logic. Hannah Arendt had said that the logic leads to totalitarianism. So everybody has money to Greece today. She could ask trillion copyright to the contemporary world and it would be logical to give him. Immediately.

It also accuses Greeks of being liars ...

It reminds me of an old syllogism that I learned in school. Epaminondas is a liar, yet all Greeks are liars, so Epaminondas is Greek. It has not so advanced.

The election of Barack Obama has changed your perception of U.S. foreign policy?

It's funny, Edwy Plenel asked me the same question. Obama's election has made me neither hot nor cold. I hoped for him that he does not come too soon assassinated. It embodies the United States, it is not quite the same as when it was George Bush. But sometimes things are clearer when they go worse. When Chirac found himself in the second round election against Le Pen, I think the left should abstain and not vote for Chirac. It is better to let the worst happen.

Why? It's dangerous ...

Because at one point, it makes you think. As the tsunami ...

It should reflect what the tsunami?

A so-called nature and which we belong. There are times when it must take revenge. Meteorologists do not speak a language of science, they do not talk about philosophy. They do not listen to how a tree philosopher.

You still interested in sport?

Yes, but it bothers me that football no longer offers only a game defensively. Aside from Barcelona. But Barcelona can not hold two straight games to level.

It dépend.Contre Arsenal, they have succeeded.

Yes, but not against Milan. Why do not they come? When you can not do, we make less games.

Last winter, you made a very short film in homage to Eric Rohmer ...

The Films of Diamond have asked me. I wanted to use the titles of his articles, mention things that I seen or done with him when we were young Cahiers in the 1950s. I can hardly say anything to him. We can not talk to people from what we shared with them. This is not the method of Antoine de Baecque, of course ...

You've read the biography of Antoine Baecque you devoted?

I traveled.

The fact that you are indifferent or bore you?

It bothered me for Anne-Marie (Miéville - ed.) Because there are things wrong. It also bothers me that people in my family have provided him with documents. It does not. But I have done nothing to prevent his escape.

Eric Rohmer, you see it yet?

A little bit because in Paris they lived in the same building. So we talked from time to time.

You've seen his latest film?

Yes, on DVD. Triple Agent is a very strange film. The spy I am passionate but would not have imagined that such a subject could be of interest.

The idea to perform a work, that life gives you time to finish, it's a question that you work?

No. The work I do not believe. There are works, it produces new, but the work as a whole, the great work, I'm not interested. Path I prefer to speak of. In my course, there are ups and downs ... I have a lot of attempts from the line. You know, the hardest thing to tell a friend what he does is not very good. Me, I miss it. Rohmer had the courage to tell me the time that my criticism of the Journal of Strangers on a Train was bad. Rivette could say that too. And we were very struck by what Rivette thought. Francois Truffaut, himself, did not forgiven for thinking that his films were zero. He suffered in addition to not being able to find my films as null than what I thought of his own.

You really think that the films of Truffaut are zero?

Not spoiled ... No more null than anything ... No more than Chabrol ... But this was not the film that we had dreamed.

Posterity, track, would you care?

No, not at all.

And that you worked at one time?


It's hard to believe you. We can not do without Pierrot le fou desire to create a masterpiece, to be the world champion, to remain forever in the history ...

Maybe you're right. I had to make that claim when I started. I came back pretty quickly.

You think your demise?

Yes, obviously. With health problems ... should I talk much more than before. Life changes. Anyway, long time, I broke with the social life. I would like to return to tennis, I had to stop for knee problems. When you get old, the child returns. Good. And no, it does not particularly distresses me to disappear.

You seem very detached ...

But instead, the contrary! I am very attached (laughs). In this context, Anne-Marie told me the other day that if ever she survived, she would write on my tombstone: "On the contrary" ...