politics

Godard: ‘I get high staring at posters in the streets. I get high on people.’

Note: Godard who has just finished shooting his lates film One Plus One, agreed to meet Hermine Demoriane for this interview but would not consent to it being recorded. “What you don’t remember, make up”, he said. Excerpts from the interview follow.

We have a lot of professional filmmakers who would be better off doing something else.

 

HD: You have said everybody should make movies.

JLG: No. I did not say that,  I said more people should. There are not enough films. Look, there is no black cinema at all. Stokely Charmichael should make a film. But he can’t. Even if Mao sent him the money he would not find a distributor. There aren’t any films from the workers, either. I’d like to hand over my unit, lock, stock and barrel and let some of them get on with it. We need films FROM people, not FOR them. In the meantime, we have a lot of professional filmmakers who would be better off doing something else.

HD: What do you think of Claude Givaudan’s experiment?

JLG: Very good. You should be able to go into a shop and buy the latest Godard, take it home and project it with no more fuss than reading a paperback. In two years time we may be putting cassettes of our own films into TV sets.

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HD: You have said England was an American colony. Does this apply to its films?

JLG: There are no English films. There are American films set in London.

HD: What do you think of American cinema, then?

JLG: The most conservative in the world. It works on worn-out formulas totally irrelevant today. Its only aim is to lift people out of their environment for a moment and persuade them the world is a beautiful place so they keep quiet and allow the system which begats such films to continue.

HD: You didn’t even like Bonnie and Clyde?

JLG: Average. Very average.

HD: And the cinema in France?

JLG: Very conservative, too.

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HD: What do you reckon is the way to break the monopoly of the big companies?

JLG: Either drop a bomb or them or buy them.

HD: You have just made a film for French TV. Would you like to do more?

JLG: I see no difference between cinema and TV films. I would like to make more, yes, but I doubt if they’d get shown. TV is governmental, and not only in France. Governments are always clever enough to take it over. Consequently TV would be the same in Cuba as it is in Greece. I think opposition parties should have an equal influence.

HD: Do you believe that hippies could be a force to purge Capitalism, as the Red Guards purged Soviet Communism?

JLG: The hippies will do nothing until they are politised.

HD: They need a Mao?

JLG: Not necessarily. Only to get educated politically.

HD: The demonstration at the first night of the Green Berets proves that something is burning.

JLG: Yes, that was excellent. I wish someone had told me, I would have gone.

HD: Do you think the uprising could come from England eventually?

JLG: Yes, it is good here because there are plenty of people with money and open minds. But alas, they don’t use their minds, and they are usually corrupted by money. People could do things but won’t. Look at the Beatles for instance. And Peter Brook. He should have put his Marat/Sade outside Buckingham Palace.

HD: Are you aware to have prophested Sorbonne in La Chinoise?

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JLG: No. Prophesy is a mild form of fascism.

HD: What about your next film?

JLG: It is going to be produced and shot in America. That’s all I know about it. Except the title. I’ve got that. An American Movie.

HD: Have you ever taken acid?

JLG: No. Not interested. I get high staring at posters in the streets. I get high on people.

HD: Exactly what my mother says. Thank you.

 

*Interview with Jean-Luc Godard by Hermine Demoriane, published in IT (International Times) no. 39, 6-19 September 1968

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Distopyan Nightmare is Real and It Won’t Go Away

I am an atheist, the most annoying kind. The type that even if a certain deity physically  reveals itself  to the world and we get a reliable scientific confirmation of its existence, I would say: ‘Ok, now I believe it’s real, but continue to live like this superb being doesn’t have anything to do with me, my thoughts , convictions and morality because reason and responsibility for my own actions is something I believe in more.’

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Art by John Wentz

 

How Many Gods Are There?

After growing up a bit, I realised the world is a colorful place in every sense of the word, and everything I stand for I have the right to defend, but keeping respect for everyone else’s beliefs is mandatory. Now we are in this limbo of uncertainty and horrible things happening to innocent people. Tolerance, acceptance, trust, exchange of information, education, personal and cultural growth have been replaced by a different kind of deity – the all mighty Fear. And nothing spreads as quickly and as successfully among people of different nationality, race, social status, etc., fear is universal and no one is immune to it. And who can blame us?

Terrorist attacks, as shocking and horrific as they are and always will be, are becoming a common every day threat, especially in big European cities. It is no wonder that the western media is covering those tragic losses of innocent people in a sensational manner, increasing the feelings of panic and hysteria. I won’t go into discussion about our hypocrisy in dealing with the deaths of mostly white, European citizens compared to everyday images of bombings and destruction in the Middle East that is getting a completely different coverage making it clear once again that there is no real ‘global society’ based on empathy and that some lives apparently do matter more. Of course I’m not implying that we should stop condemning senseless murders no matter where they happen and where the victims are from.

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When dystopian fiction becomes our reality

Brutal acts of violence that we were watching on our TV screens in the news every evening have spread from the streets of ‘far, far away’ countries to familiar streets, places that we visited or where our friends live in,  killing people whose language we understand.  And we can’t do nothing about it. For a while now, and especially for the past couple of years,  violence is no longer observed from the distance like watching a movie,  it has turned places and ordinary situations like sitting at a café, visiting a Christmas market or going to concerts in possible crime scenes and death traps. Even after going through immense shock, people manage to move on with their lives eventually, but every new attack pushes us further away from ‘being normal’ and helps building a dystopian reality giving us clear hints on how our near future will look like. The state’s apparatus of force and repression will have the unlimited freedom to intervene whenever they feel is necessary, heavy surveillance, travel bans, buying tickets to big sports events along with the ATTENDING AT YOUR OWN RISK forms, etc. Happy new year 1984!

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Once again, who can blame the society for this hysteria. This  is a time to be out of your mind and paranoid, if not now, when? We hear politicians going into big ‘destroy terrorism’ speeches saying ‘That’s it, we will not tolerate this!’, but every new incident, no matter how small, shows that stopping terrorism is just an expression used to calm the public a bit, although it can’t be done in reality. How can you destroy and stop something when you don’t know where to look and when the enemy will be ready to strike again and shake up every single of our values to the core. That is why I think all the ‘love wins’, pray for Paris/London/Bruxelles/Kabul, ‘eat – pray – love’ bullshit exists only as a group sedative to make us feel like we are doing something useful by expressing our condolences, sympathy and sadness. The longer I write it, the more I feel the same about this post.

Global Paranoia

Internet has opened many amazing possibilities, but has turned fake news into mainstream stories numerous times, even the simplest information have to be double-checked, finding people who are willing to say the truth without worrying about losing jobs and money is getting harder. Everyone is suspicious and nothing is certain except fear. Good news for politicians is that fear is useful because it stupefies the masses turning people into perfect victims of manipulation.

Yesterday’s London Bridge attack and Manchester arena bombing from two weeks ago started the discussion that keeps getting louder for a good reason – accidentally or not, the timing is perfect because in 4 days the UK will have general elections. Similar thing happened just days before the first round of French presidential elections when a policeman got killed in the center of Paris.  And what comes out from constantly injecting fear into society’s veins just like pus pops out from an infected pimple? Bigotry, ignorance, anger… continue the list. 

Conspiracy theories, you say? It may be, I haven’t explored the cases in detail, but the fact that we are in position that we have to consider such motives behind inexplicable inhumane actions speaks for itself on where our modern, globalist society is heading towards.

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Meryl Streep and Obama ‘Tribute’

Let’s talk about being overrated. What qualifies someone as overrated, can we all see the obvious signs and agree on proclaiming someone or something as overly acknowledged in comparison to its true value. How does one become overrated? It was perfectly logical to me that you have to actually accomplish something profound on certain level to even earn the chance of reaching the overrated status in the future.

I was wrong. After some additional thinking, many  public personalities came to my mind along with people from my  every day surroundings who seem to get credit for doing or representing something admirable while it’s really hard to pin down where does the appreciation come from. Take some university professors for example, we all catch ourselves looking at one of them holding a presumably important lesson, and thinking: how does this person even manage to tie their shoes or not leave the stove on and burn the whole building before leaving the house for work? Surprisingly, not only do they manage to master those basic functions (just to be clear, I am not mocking the basic functions here, I am admittedly very bad at those), but through (too much) ambition along with good connections they make up for the lack of intelligence and thrive in their academic careers and turn into respected, honored society  figures. It seems that they’ve skipped the ‘achievement’ phase and skipped right to the slimy bag of glorified valueless pieces and once you’re in there, it’s hard to get out. The lack of talent, skills or no of ability of critical thinking is easily recognisable, so why can’t we simply agree on forming the simple yes/no answer to a question: Is he/she/it overrated?

Once you spot one, there’s nothing left to do but to yell ‘You’re so overrated’ at them, right? As soon as you start yelling, in a split second they will shrink and go back to their cave of mediocrity, the one they shouldn’t come out of in the first place. Everything is in order, balance is reintroduced, the air seems fresher and cleaner.

Let’s move on, I am warning  you I’m about to get political in the following lines. The last few days have confirmed with a complete certainty that both Meryl Streep and the Obama family are overrated as hell (I can’t believe I actually agree with Trump on something, I hope it doesn’t become a habit). Watching the Hollywood crème de la crème putting on their best ‘this is so touching and I’m about to cry, life is so hard boo hoo’ faces during Streep’s Golden Globe speech made me laugh, feel second-hand embarrassment and worry at the same time. The thing I am concerned about is the fact that most of the people I know – smart, educated, progressive individuals recognized a heroic, revolutionary figure in a privileged, self obsessed Hollywood product.

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‘Cry Me a River’ performed by Meryl Streep

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate good movies no matter where they come from, Hollywood and its actors (Meryl Streep included) can’t and shouldn’t be ignored, there are so many I love and like to write/talk about… the thing I can’t stand is a public lecture from any of them taking a role of a moral vertical while giving just one of many ‘thank you for the award’ speeches. The part when she self righteously labeled a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Serge Kovaleski as poor, powerless man who can’t defend himself from Trump’s insults was the lowest point, just made me think: – How dare you? She probably meant well while making the statement, but the overall impression gives out the textbook example of the high horse attitude she adopted, it’s not even entirely her fault anymore.

Just when I thought the western media are done with endless ass kissing and eulogies for the actress mentioning her name in terms of a higher, heavenly being who is here to save us, the culmination of the Obama show hit me in the face. So, just to make it clear, here we are whining over a man who we watched for 8 years holding great speeches, never-failing at a role of a perfect family man, being incredibly eloquent and charming but at the same time continuously bombing the hell out of half of the planet, even more than publicly despised Bush Jr. did. This is not a conspiracy theory, these are cold hard facts and it’s no surprise that the weapon making industry has flourished under the Obama administration, although too many people are not aware of it.

Since 2009, the United States has approved arms deals worth some $200 billion—more than under any other presidency. The deals include sending Apache helicopters to Qatar, “bunker buster” bombs and cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, and Hellfire missiles all over the place. Predicting an increase in weapons sales fueled by the war against ISIS, an unnamed American weapons manufacturing executive told Reuterslast year: “Everyone in the region is talking about building up supplies for 5 to 10 years. This is going to be a long fight. It’s a huge growth area for us.”

The love of war seems to be a constant between all American presidents but as long as you have the most influential media working in your favour, you go on talk shows singing, dancing and joking around, just pretending to be a regular dude, everything is forgiven.  I get it, a worldwide mourning is exemplified because of an orange simpleton who is about to replace him, but c’mon –  putting two trash cans next to each other doesn’t make the one on the left any less of a trash can just because the one on the right smells much worse.

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