T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

In the spring of 1978, Jean-Luc Godard began, at the invitation of Serge Losique, director of the Conservatory of Cinematographic Art at Concordia University in Montreal, a long term ‘research’ on the history of cinema, in turn gardener, archaeologist, geologist, producer, rarely professor. These Montreal lectures were known to cinephiles through two main sources: the book Introduction à une véritable histoire du cinéma published in 1980 and an English translation by Timothy Barnard, published in 2014, Introduction to a True History of Cinema. These ‘lessons’ were to become the fertile ground for a seminal work of the Twentieth century: Histoire(s) du cinema (1987-1998). If these works are part of the library of all Godardians worthy of the name, few, until today, could claim to have seen and heard video recordings of these lessons.
In the vaults of Concordia University’s Visual Collections Repository department, however, slept some 30½-inch black-and-white video open reels. They contained Godard’s 14 lessons, spread out from April 14, 1978 to October 21, 1978 (each lasting about an hour and a half), as well as five post-projection discussion sessions, conducted from March 9 to 13, 1977, as part of a partial retrospective of his films organized by Serge Losique. The sessions consisted of long and brilliant series of digressions. There are dazzling reflections on editing, economics, actors and actresses, war, political commitment, the media.
The public of this year’s Cinema Ritrovato is invited to attend the first public presentation of three of these lessons. In spite of the fragility of the support and the precariousness of these images, in spite of the dizzying density of these presentations and the obvious incompleteness of the exercise, we are nevertheless privileged to be able to share these selected moments of an adventure of thought carried by the one who, more than any other artist, has constantly given back to the cinema, even beyond his death, the invention of childhood.

André Habib

Programme 1

June 17th 1978
Film shown: Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966), excerpts from: Sous les toits de Paris (René Clair, 1930), Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959), The Girl from Prague with a Very Heavy Bag (Danielle Jaeggi, 1978)

This project was realized thanks to the Visual Collection Repository (VCR) of Concordia University, the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, the CinéMédia laboratory of the Université de Montréal, and with technical support of VTape and L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratories